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Chicago Community and Demographic Issues

The population being assessed in this case is the Chicago community situated in Cook County in Illinois. With more than three million people, it is the largest city in Illinois and the third-largest city in the US (Statistical Atlas, 2020). The population of females is higher compared to that of men in this city. Over the years, the city has held a steady population, becoming the 46th out of 50 in the country (Statistical Atlas, 2020). However, the city’s population has been declining due to aspects like urban to urban migration. For example, the city lost about 3,000 people during the past decade (Statistical Atlas, 2020). The population of Chicago has dropped gradually, leading to citizens’ migration to areas with lower housing costs and more occupations that do not require a college diploma. The loss of population in downstate Illinois is mostly due to a reduction in manufacturing employment.

Household income plays an integral role in determining the economic performance of a city. In 2020, the median household income in Chicago was $62,097, which was around $11,656 less than the state of Illinois median household (Statistical Atlas, 2020). The lower median household income in Chicago City could be due to a variety of factors, including the fact that 41.1% of the city’s population aged 25 and over has a college diploma, while 85% have only a high school diploma (Statistical Atlas, 2020). In addition, the city now has roughly 5% of unemployed adults 16 and older, compared to the state of Illinois and the US. About 17% of the city’s population lives in poverty (Statistical Atlas, 2020). As a result, as compared to the state of Illinois, the city has a greater poverty rate.

In Chicago, there are a number of people working in different industries. Health and social assistance sector ranks high in terms of employment of people. It employs about 637,895 people, translating to about 13% of the overall employment (Statistical Atlas, 2020). The second sector in terms of the number of people it employs is manufacturing. This industry employs about 556,674 people representing 11% of the total employment (Statistical Atlas, 2020). The third sector is the retail trade, employing about 478,061, representing 10% of the entire employment status. The fourth industry that employs most people is professional, scientific, and technical services. It employs approximately 435,000, which is 9% of the whole employment (Statistical Atlas, 2020). The other industries are education, accommodation and food services, transportation, construction, finance, and public administration.

In terms of occupation in Chicago, the majority of the population works in the manufacturing, health and social sciences, accounting for more than 40% of the population. Individuals in sales and office employment account for 23% of the population, followed by those in service occupations at 19% (Statistical Atlas, 2020). However, there are few people working in natural resource sector, construction companies, and repair jobs. Production, transportation, and material moving jobs employ only 8% of the workforce (Statistical Atlas, 2020). Males earn more than females in terms of overall earnings based on full-time, year-round employment. Based on the number of residences they possess; a larger population is working in the health industries.

The Race of This Population Within the Community

Chicago is a city with residents from different ethnic groups. People of various ethnic groups are represented, including Whites, African Americans, American Indians and Alaska Natives, Asians, Native Hawaiians, and others from two or more ethnic groups (Statistical Atlas, 2020). Whites is the largest in terms of population, constituting 47% of the entire population. The second most populous race is black or African Americans. This population constitute about 29% of all the races in Chicago (Statistical Atlas, 2020). The third-largest race in this city is the Hispanic or Latinos. The fourth-largest race is Asian, consisting of about 6%, and the final race is American India, with a percentage of 0.3% (Statistical Atlas, 2020). Therefore, the existence of more than one race in Chicago makes it a cosmopolitan city.

The Boundary in Chicago

The boundaries existing in this population are linked with its geographic location in Illinois. Lake Michigan forms Chicago’s eastern border, while the Chicago River divides the city into three geographic areas, namely North, South, and West (Statistical Atlas, 2020). Most of Chicago’s widespread tourist attractions sites, including The Magnificent Mile and the city’s greatest hotels and boutiques, are located on the North Side. The West Side of Chicago is a cultural melting pot, including communities of Greeks, Mexicans, and Puerto Ricans. The South Side consists of Bronzeville, Chinatown, Kenwood, Hyde Park, and South Loop. As a result, the North, South and West Side marks the geography of the city in Cook County and the state of Illinois.

Chicago is situated in the Cook County, which is in the state of Illinois. As one of the major cities in Illinois, it is situated in the Midwest region of the US. The city is also found on the south western shore of Lake Michigan, the world’s fifth-biggest freshwater body, at the height of roughly 578 feet above sea level (Statistical Atlas, 2020). The Chicago and Calumet rivers run through the city, which spans about 60,000 hectares. In addition, over 3000 hectares of city property are dedicated to parks in Chicago (Statistical Atlas, 2020). Chicago is a major city in Illinois due to its size and location.

The General Characteristics That Separate This Group from Others

The Chicago population has unique features that distinguish it from others in the state and country. About 400,000 individuals in Chicago do not speak English as their first language (Statistical Atlas, 2020). In an effort to improve delivery services to these Limited English Proficiency individuals, the Mayor appointed a diverse group of community leaders in various fields and tasked them with developing a language access policy. In Chicago, the number of individuals and families without cars is increasing. Compared to other cities in the state and country, Chicago has the lowest number of individuals owning cars. In addition, the majority of the households in Chicago have computers and access to internet services. Therefore, the distinct features of the population are having a group of people with limited English proficiency and a declining number of people owning cars.

Education Levels, Birth/Death Rates, Age of Death, Insured/Uninsured

The majority of the residents living in Chicago is educated. According to a report conducted by the American Community Survey, more than 88% of people have gone through high school and college (Statistical Atlas, 2020). The highest level of education for individuals of 25 years and above is high school, followed closely by bachelor’s and some colleges (Statistical Atlas, 2020). For example, about 425,000 people have gone through high school, 399,000 have attained bachelor’s, and 27,000 have doctorate (Statistical Atlas, 2020). In addition, the number of college graduates is high among the Asian group, followed closely by Whites and then Blacks. About 60% of individuals with a college degree are Asians living in the city, 58% are Whites, and 16% are Blacks (Statistical Atlas, 2020). Therefore, a high number of the population in Chicago have gone through high school and college.

Moreover, the level of education in Chicago differs based on gender. Compared to their female counterparts, the number of educated males is higher. There are 57,526 educated men compared to 42,135 educated women (Statistical Atlas, 2020). Males have a higher number of bachelor’s degrees than female partners. Males have a higher percentage of graduate or professional degree holders than females. Men have a higher percentage of college or associates degree holders than women. Men make up 57,150 of the college and associate degree students, while women make up 37,090 (Statistical Atlas, 2020). In Chicago, it seems like men are more educated compared to women.

There is a lot of disparity among races in Chicago’s death and birth rates. In 2020, there were about 31,000 live births in the city (Statistical Atlas, 2020). Out of these births, 30% were Latinos, 31.8% were white, 29.3 were black, 7.9% were Asian, and none were America India (Statistical Atlas, 2020). Based on birth rates, the city’s mortality rate is increasing. One of the causes of death in Chicago is heart disease, homicides, cancer, and accidents. For persons who are 24 years and below, there are about 20 deaths for every 1000 people (Statistical Atlas, 2020). For ages 25 to 64, there are about 120 deaths for every 3,000 people in the city. For 65 and above, the mortality rate is 360 for every 6,000 people (Statistical Atlas, 2020). Thus, the mortality rate in the city is rising due to the prevalence of health conditions such as COVID-19.

Health insurance coverage plays an integral role in increasing an individual’s access to healthcare services. In Chicago, the number of uninsured individuals has declined steadily over the past few years, with about 91% of the residents insured (Statistical Atlas, 2020). In terms of race, American Indian and Alaskan natives were the highest populations without insurance in Chicago in 2016, with nearly 26% remaining uninsured. Individuals under the age of 65 without healthcare coverage account for 62% of the population in Chicago, implying that the majority of the population is covered (Statistical Atlas, 2020). The high number of insured individuals in the city results from the increasing awareness about the importance of taking health insurance.

The Geographical Location of the Group

Geographic location is the physical place a given unit is situated and for which statistics are obtained and disseminated. This community group being accessed is in Chicago, which is found in Cook County. It is surrounded by cities such as Aurora, Naperville, Evanston, Oak Park and many more. Oak Park is a bustling city that is 9.1 miles away from Chicago. Evanston is found on the northern part of Chicago, and it is 13.7 miles from Chicago (Statistical Atlas, 2020). Naperville is one of the cities around Chicago and is 33 miles away. Aurora, also known as the City of Lights, is 37 miles from Chicago. Apart from cities located around Chicago, Lake Michigan also borders the city. Therefore, Chicago is one of the urban areas of Illinois and is surrounded by several cities.

Reasons for Performing a Community Assessment

The community is being analyzed to gather information on the Chicago community’s mental health status. It will be critical in determining the present mental health conditions in the community. Furthermore, the assessment will promote the attainment of healthy communities in the city by promoting mental health education, prevention, and access to treatment resources. In addition, it will aid in the identification of issues that require management and control actions. This includes recognizing the negative emotions and psychological impacts that affect the community’s larger population. As a result, the assessment will help understand the city’s population’s access to mental health centers.

The community assessment is performed to understand mental health disparity in Chicago, especially regarding race, gender, and age. Mental illness is a health issue affecting people of different ages, gender, ethnic groups, and many more. Some of the risk factors are stress, lack of adequate funds to meet essential needs, and the surrounding. Based on this, it will be important to understand the group susceptible to mental health issues. In addition, it will help develop evidence-based initiatives to help reduce cases of mental health problems in the community. Thus, it will be easy to seek financial help from the state and federal governments to run the operations with the appropriate information.

Collection of Community Assessment

Data collection techniques will help obtain information for community assessment. Interviews will be conducted to collect information about the community. Some people to be interviewed are healthcare providers, social workers, human rights activists, community leaders and police. These participants will be asked various questions, and their feedback will be collected. Another data collection technique is an online survey due to the high number of patients using the internet. Chicago has a high number of people on various online platforms. This technique will help reach a large group of people and collect relevant information.

Assessment of the Community

Table 1: Summary of Feedback from the Interview

Interview question Summary of feedback
Strengths of the community Most of the participants stated that the community had established various platforms and resources that people can use to access mental health services. For example, several clinics and hospitals in Chicago provide these services (Park & Burgess, 2019). In addition, the city also has online platforms such as Chicago connects that offer help to anyone in need of mental healthcare.
Area of improvement for the community The majority of the participants claimed that Chicago needs to adopt robust strategies to help solve mental health issues at a community level to lower the cases of homicides. For example, there is a need to build a strong relationship between healthcare providers and people who might be suffering from mental illness.
Concerns of community members Some of the concerns addressed are increasing instances of homicides, the laxity of the state and local government in addressing the problem, and the high cost of mental healthcare services (Tentner et al., 2019).
Access to healthcare services The majority of the participants stated that access to healthcare services is limited to those who have healthcare insurance.
Emergency plans for natural or man-made disasters The city has a community emergency response team tasked with responding to all kinds of disasters (Tentner et al., 2019).


Park, R. E., & Burgess, E. W. (2019). The city. University of Chicago Press.

Statistical Atlas. (2020). The Demographic Statistical Atlas of the United States – Statistical Atlas. Web.

Tentner, A. R., Spellman, A., Paulson, A., Day, C., Sadler, T., Coffman, R., & Pollack, H. A. (2019). Identifying Chicago’s high users of police-involved emergency services. American Journal of Public Health, 109(4), 607-613. Web.

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