The 10 Worst Cities For Women In Illinois For 2020

by Kathy Morris
Rankings - 9 months ago

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It is 2020, and while times are changing, women in the United States still face challenges their male counterparts don’t. From discrimination to slimmer paychecks and disproportionate share of household tasks, it isn’t easy being a woman in America.

After identifying the worst states for women, we decided to drill down and identify the worst (and best) cities to be a woman in Illinois.

The results? Location makes a big difference.

Read on to see where your city landed and how we determined the worst cities in Illinois to be a woman.

These are the 10 worst cities for women in Illinois. Keep reading to see why these cities serve women so poorly, or jump to the end to see the best cities for women in Illinois.

Methodology – How We Determined The Worst Cities For Women In Illinois

Each city was ranked in four categories:

  • Percentage Of Women In Management (Lower is worse)
  • Percentage Of Women In Poverty (Higher is worse)
  • How much women earn per male dollar earned (Lower is worse)
  • Uninsured Women (Lower is worse)

To calculate the income gap between women and men by city we turned to the Census’ American Community Survey. To get the difference in for all male earners and all female earners, we simply divided median male income by median female income to determine how much women earned per male dollar earned.

For the percentage of women in poverty, we also used data from the ACS. Poverty rate is based on household income, which includes husbands and other family members. To focus our data solely on women, we elected to look at women living with no relatives. People meeting this criteria (both male and female) tend to be younger and earn less. Consequently, this poverty rating will be higher than typical and does not include married women.

We decided to examine the percentage of women in management from the ACS to get perspective on the amount of women in leadership roles. Since women are more likely to promote other women, we thought it was an important look at not only women’s personal achievements, but the opportunity for advancement available.

Finally, we turned to the ACS once again for the percent of uninsured women in each city.

We only looked at cities in Illinois with a population larger than 5,000.

1. East Alton

How Much Women Make For Male Dollars Earned: $0.52
Women In Management: 26.4%
Women In Poverty: 25.4%
Women Uninsured: 6.6%

East Alton is the worst city for women in Illinois. What earned East Alton this unfavorable rank? Low scores across the board. East Alton women have an unpleasantly high chance of living in poverty and being uninsured. Throw in the other stats and it’s easy to see East Alton women are struggling.

2. Metropolis

Metropolis, IL

Source: Public domain

How Much Women Make For Male Dollars Earned: $0.50
Women In Management: 22.5%
Women In Poverty: 29.3%
Women Uninsured: 3.9%

Metropolis is the 2nd worst state for women. Metropolis women have high poverty and generally dismal stats.

3. Wilmington

How Much Women Make For Male Dollars Earned: $0.46
Women In Management: 24.6%
Women In Poverty: 18.9%
Women Uninsured: 5.0%

Everything isn’t great for women in Wilmington. Only 24.6 percent of women work in management and 18.9% live in poverty. That’s not so great

4. Watseka

How Much Women Make For Male Dollars Earned: $0.50
Women In Management: 36.9%
Women In Poverty: 20.0%
Women Uninsured: 9.0%

Watseka is the fourth worst city to be a woman. 9.0% of women don’t have health insurance and 20.0% of solo women live in poverty.

5. Peru

Peru, IL

Source: Public domain

How Much Women Make For Male Dollars Earned: $0.51
Women In Management: 26.6%
Women In Poverty: 12.3%
Women Uninsured: 5.6%

Peru is the fifth worst city for women. While women in Peru have better opportunities than the first 4, it’s still not all rainbows and sunshine for women in Peru.

6. Carpentersville

Carpentersville, IL

Source: Public domain

How Much Women Make For Male Dollars Earned: $0.65
Women In Management: 34.7%
Women In Poverty: 18.0%
Women Uninsured: 14.0%

At #6, Carpentersville has 34.7. Carpentersville women have a high chance of living in poverty. Yikes.

7. Bridgeview

Bridgeview, IL

How Much Women Make For Male Dollars Earned: $0.60
Women In Management: 39.3%
Women In Poverty: 21.0%
Women Uninsured: 11.3%

Bridgeview is a hard place to be a woman. High poverty, unfortunate earning distribution, and dismal uninsurance rates can make getting ahead an uphill battle.

8. Effingham

Effingham, IL

Source: Public domain

How Much Women Make For Male Dollars Earned: $0.61
Women In Management: 27.8%
Women In Poverty: 19.3%
Women Uninsured: 5.4%

Effingham isn’t so great for lone women. They have a 19.3% chance of living in poverty and earn $0.61 for every male dollar earned. See the connection?

9. Harvey

Harvey, IL

How Much Women Make For Male Dollars Earned: $0.73
Women In Management: 36.1%
Women In Poverty: 35.7%
Women Uninsured: 13.6%

Why is it so hard to be a Harvey woman? Well, making $0.73 for every dollar a male definitely doesn’t help. Toss in the fact that 13.6% are uninsured, while 35.7% of single women live in poverty and it paints a pretty unfortunate picture.

10. Belvidere

Belvidere, IL

Source: Public domain

How Much Women Make For Male Dollars Earned: $0.55
Women In Management: 39.1%
Women In Poverty: 18.9%
Women Uninsured: 7.2%

In 10th place we have Belvidere. While women in Belvidere fare better than the first 9 cities, they still face steep challenges. Just ask the 18.9% who live in poverty.

Summary On Worst Cities to Be A Woman In Illinois

These are the cities where Illinois women have the roughest time. While women face many obstacles statewide, these cities offer worst prospects than most.

For example, while very few cities in this overall study had women making the same or more than the median male income, the difference between first and last place is significant.

Overall, while we cannot say that East Alton is the worst city for every individual woman (life is pretty personal, after all), however, women who live there may have to overcome unique challenges.

Check out the rest of the list below.

Detailed List Of The Worst Cities For Women In Illinois

Rank Place Pay Gap
1 East Alton $0.52
2 Metropolis $0.50
3 Wilmington $0.46
4 Watseka $0.50
5 Peru $0.51
6 Carpentersville $0.65
7 Bridgeview $0.60
8 Effingham $0.61
9 Harvey $0.73
10 Belvidere $0.55
11 Park City $0.76
12 East Moline $0.56
13 Dekalb $0.58
14 Coal City $0.55
15 Hampshire $0.59
16 River Grove $0.58
17 Woodstock $0.63
18 Northlake $0.71
19 Carbondale $0.82
20 Streator $0.49
21 Posen $0.93
22 Hoopeston $0.80
23 Harvard $0.77
24 West Frankfort $0.61
25 Aurora $0.66
26 Pana $0.60
27 Marseilles $0.52
28 Summit $0.79
29 Steger $0.56
30 Benton $0.51
31 Rantoul $0.74
32 Mundelein $0.60
33 Elgin $0.74
34 Bradley $0.65
35 Clarendon Hills $0.31
36 Mount Carmel $0.56
37 Gilberts $0.57
38 Highwood $1.01
39 Bourbonnais $0.53
40 Centreville $0.72
41 Edwardsville $0.42
42 Schiller Park $0.62
43 Addison $0.69
44 Prospect Heights $0.64
45 Roscoe $0.53
46 Justice $0.61
47 Du Quoin $0.47
48 Johnsburg $0.53
49 Charleston $0.65
50 Cary $0.56
51 Taylorville $0.65
52 Round Lake Beach $0.78
53 Burbank $0.68
54 Galesburg $0.68
55 Clinton $0.63
56 Alton $0.71
57 Princeton $0.52
58 Zion $0.81
59 West Chicago $0.69
60 Peoria Heights $0.56
61 Lincoln $0.61
62 Hinsdale $0.34
63 Wood River $0.67
64 Olney $0.58
65 Joliet $0.61
66 St. Charles $0.48
67 Wood Dale $0.58
68 Palatine $0.67
69 Rockford $0.73
70 Spring Valley $0.50
71 Glen Carbon $0.63
72 Swansea $0.59
73 Ottawa $0.65
74 Waukegan $0.75
75 Carlinville $0.51
76 Danville $0.78
77 Chicago Heights $0.66
78 Hickory Hills $0.64
79 Villa Park $0.61
80 Melrose Park $0.75
81 Lincolnwood $0.52
82 Cicero $0.73
83 Round Lake $0.66
84 South Elgin $0.62
85 Westmont $0.69
86 Lemont $0.44
87 Chicago Ridge $0.73
88 Pingree Grove $0.37
89 Moline $0.59
90 Beach Park $0.70
91 Collinsville $0.62
92 Marengo $0.69
93 Carol Stream $0.67
94 Harrisburg $0.65
95 Cahokia $1.05
96 Romeoville $0.59
97 Macomb $0.77
98 Chillicothe $0.62
99 Quincy $0.64
100 Highland $0.59
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