• Description

Chicago is known as one of the most segregated cities in America, with pockets of both deep wealth and extreme vulnerability. Even compared with the country as a whole, the city's legacy of race-based discrimination and decades of disinvestment and marginalization is extreme. Today, that legacy manifests in starkly different financial opportunities and realities for its citizens, falling largely along racial and ethnic lines. In partnership with The Chicago Community Trust, we examine the factors that contribute to financial health disparities among Chicagoans and residents of surrounding Cook County.

Key Takeaways

  • Cook County, including Chicago, demonstrates both greater financial health and greater financial vulnerability than the U.S. as a whole.
  • The disparities in financial health across race and ethnicity are dramatically larger in Cook County than in the U.S.
  • Black and Latinx households in Cook County are far less likely than white households to have access to wealth-building assets, yet are more likely to hold most kinds of debt than white households.
  • Black and Latinx people in Cook County are far more likely to be Financially Vulnerable than their counterparts nationwide.
  • Racial gaps in financial health of Cook County residents can't be explained by household income alone.