Study Reveals Growth In Suburban Poverty

As suburbs have increased in population, so too have their rates of poverty, according to a new Brookings Institution Report. Suburban poor now outnumber their inner-city counterparts for the first time.

"As Americans flee the cities for the suburbs, many are failing to leave poverty behind.

The suburban poor outnumbered their inner-city counterparts for the first time last year, with more than 12 million suburban residents living in poverty, according to a study of the nation's 100 largest metropolitan areas released Thursday."

"Traditionally, cities have been viewed as home to poor populations, surrounded by middle- and upper-income suburbs," the report said. "This 'tipping' of poor populations to the suburbs represents a signal development that upends historical notions about who lives in cities and suburbs."

From the source Brookings Institution report:

During the first half of the current decade, the proportion of the U.S. population living below the poverty line rose, albeit with key differences across metropolitan areas. Notably, this report finds that for the first time in 2005 there are more poor residents of suburbs than central cities.

Among the findings:

  • In 1999 large cities and their suburbs had nearly equal numbers of poor individuals, but by 2005 the suburban poor outnumbered their city counterparts by at least 1 million.
  • Poverty rates rose significantly in Midwestern and Southern metropolitan areas, but remained steady in the West and Northeast.
  • Nearly half of large cities nationwide saw a significant rise in their poverty rates, versus about one-third of their suburbs.
  • In cities and suburbs where overall poverty rates rose from 1999 to 2005, child poverty rates rose faster.
Full Story: 12 million suburbanites live in poverty

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