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Evictions per Filing in Illinois

Racially Disparate Patterns in Eviction Filing Outcomes

Project Lead:


Emma Boczek, Teddy Knox


Recent research has highlighted the long-term consequences to tenants of receiving an eviction filing — even a filing that does not lead to an eviction. We examine census block group-level data to (a) determine which populations in Illinois are most affected by eviction filings that do not result in evictions, and (b) study the relationship between a census block group’s racial makeup and that its evictions per filing (EPF) rate — a measure of the likelihood that a given filing will result in a legal eviction. We estimate that while African Americans in Illinois from 2000 to 2016 are overall more likely to experience eviction filings and eviction judgments, they also experience the lowest EPF rate of any racial group, suggesting that they are the population most likely to have an unjustly marred eviction record. Specifically, we find that controlling for income and other factors, a 10 point increase in a census block group’s percentage of African-American residents is associated with a 4.4 percent decrease in that block group’s EPF rate.

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