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Southern Illinois Still Poorest Part of State

By AP/KWMU

Benton, Ill. – A new report from the Illinois Poverty Summit concludes that southern Illinois remains the poorest region of the state.

The 2004 Report on Illinois Poverty ranks southern Illinois last in 14 of 17 categories.

The study found that southern Illinois' unemployment rates are higher than state averages. It also found that nearly half of the 25 Illinois counties with a shortage of primary care health professionals are in southern Illinois.

Sid Mohn of the Heartland Alliance for Human Rights and Human Needs says there's a lack of economic opportunity and basic needs such as housing, healthcare and transportation.

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