Illinois falls somewhere in the middle when it comes to states with the highest percentage of poor people, but the number has grown.
Census data Tuesday shows the ranks of the nation's poor have swelled to a record 46.2 million -- nearly 1 in 6 Americans. That's as the recession leaves millions still struggling and unemployed.
Mississippi had the highest share of poor people, at 22.7 percent and New Hampshire had the lowest share, at 6.6 percent.
Illinois had 14.1 percent in 2010, up from 13.2 percent in 2009.
Bruce Meyer is a University of Chicago professor. He cautions that the worst may be yet to come in poverty levels. Meyer cites continued rising demand for food stamps and very high numbers of unemployed for more than 26 weeks.