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City's Latino Neighborhoods: Population Up, Challenges Persist, Report Says

By Mina Bloom | October 11, 2017 3:37pm | Updated on October 13, 2017 11:35am
 Amalia Alejo, who immigrated to the U.S. from Mexico, has called Pilsen home since 1975. Now 70, she said she hopes to one day pass her 19th Street home down to her daughter.
Amalia Alejo, who immigrated to the U.S. from Mexico, has called Pilsen home since 1975. Now 70, she said she hopes to one day pass her 19th Street home down to her daughter.
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DNAinfo/Stephanie Lulay

LOGAN SQUARE — Chicago's Hispanic population is surging, and while the ethnic or racial group faces many quality-of-life challenges, it has also seen some successes, according to a new report.

José Miguel Acosta-Córdova, a graduate student studying urban planning and policy at the University of Illinois at Chicago, is behind the report, "The Latino Neighborhoods Report: Issues and Prospects for Chicago." It was produced for the nonprofit Metropolitan Family Services "to further its delivery of social services." 

Released Wednesday, the report was done in partnership with the Institute for Research on Race and Public Policy and the Great Cities Institute.

For about 1½ years, Acosta-Córdova and his team analyzed U.S. Census data in 12 neighborhoods where there are at least 25,000 Hispanics. What he found was Chicago's Hispanic population has increased substantially and is widely distributed across the city.

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Hispanics have passed blacks as the second-largest ethnic or racial group in Chicago, based on Census data.

In his research, Acosta-Córdova found that many quality-of-life challenges persist in Chicago's Hispanic communities. Education and healthcare rates are lagging in the 12 neighborhoods, according to the report.

The neighborhoods include South Lawndale (Little Village), Belmont Cragin, Logan Square Lower West Side (Pilsen), Humboldt Park, New City (Back of the Yards), Albany Park, Irving Park, Brighton Park, Gage Park, West Lawn and Chicago Lawn (Marquette Park). Each neighborhood is profiled in the report.

Some of Chicago's Hispanic communities are seeing homeownership and income level rates higher than the city average, according to the report.

Hispanics have higher median household incomes in five of the 12 neighborhoods analyzed in the study, though income levels of Hispanics lag behind non-Hispanic white populations citywide.

Some findings below:

HOME OWNERSHIP: Five predominantly Latino neighborhoods had homeownership rates below the city average of 44.3 percent. Those included the Lower West Side (26.6 percent), South Lawndale (35.7 percent), Humboldt Park (36.2 percent), New City (38.4 percent), and Albany Park (38.9 percent).

However, other Latino-heavy community areas had homeownership rates ranging from 44.7 percent in Chicago Lawn to 72.2 percent in West Lawn.

HEALTH INSURANCE: "There were higher proportions of the population without health insurance in all 12 of the Latino neighborhoods of study compared to Chicago," the report said.

While Chicago had a uninsured rate of 17 percent, there were higher uninsured rates in Logan Square (18 percent), West Lawn (19 percent), Humboldt Park (23 percent), Chicago Lawn (24 percent), Irving Park (24 percent), Belmont Cragin (26 percent), New City (26 percent), Albany Park (27 percent), Gage Park (29 percent), Brighton Park (29 percent), Lower West Side (29 percent), and South Lawndale (32%).

FORECLOSURES: "The 2008-2010 foreclosure crisis impacted most Latino neighborhoods at higher rates than Chicago overall," according to the report.

"In 2008, 2009 and 2010, the Lower West Side and Logan Square were the only two neighborhoods that had the same or lower foreclosure filing rates per 100 parcels than the city of Chicago while the remaining 10 neighborhoods had higher rates," according to the report.

In 2009, the city of Chicago’s foreclosure filing rate was three parcels per 100. Albany Park (4), Belmont Cragin (6.9), Brighton Park (4.9), Chicago Lawn (6.7), Gage Park (5.9), Humboldt Park (6.7), Irving Park (3.3), New City (5.1), South Lawndale (4.4), and West Lawn (5.3) were above that.

"While foreclosure rates have declined in recent years, the years of high foreclosure rates have lasting neighborhood impacts," the report said.

• Some 17 percent of Chicago's population is uninsured. There were higher proportions of the population without health insurance in Logan Square (18 percent), West Lawn (19 percent), Humboldt Park (23 percent), Chicago Lawn (24 percent), Irving Park (24 percent), Belmont Cragin (26 percent), New City (26 percent), Albany Park (27 percent), Gage Park (29 percent), Brighton Park (29 percent), Lower West Side (29 percent), and South Lawndale (32 percent).

• "In 2016, 32.3 percent of Latinos in Chicago age 25 and over had an educational attainment of less than a high school diploma compared to 5.0 percent of non-Hispanic whites and 15.6 percent of Black or African Americans (2016 American Community Survey)," the report said.

Latino Neighborhoods Report by Mina Bloom on Scribd