Suburban Poverty Increasing: Report

A new Brookings Institute study shows that the recession has exacerbated conditions of poverty in America's suburbs, to the point where they hold the greatest proportion of the nation's poor.
January 22, 2010, 7am PST | Michael Dudley
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The Institute examined poverty conditions between 2000 and 2008 and found that suburban areas are home to almost 1/3 of the nation's poor population.

"Over the course of this decade, two economic downturns translated into a significant rise in poverty, nationally and in many of the country's metropolitan and non-metropolitan communities. Suburbs saw by far the greatest growth in their poor population and by 2008 had become home to the largest share of the nation's poor. By 2008, suburbs were home to the largest and fastest-growing poor population in the country. Midwestern cities and suburbs experienced by far the largest poverty rate increases over the decade. At the same time, Northeastern metros-led by New York and Worcester- actually saw poverty rates in their primary cities decline, while collectively their suburbs experienced a slight increase. This ongoing shift in the geography of American poverty increasingly requires regional scale collaboration by policymakers and social service providers in order to effectively address the needs of a poor population that is increasingly suburban."

[The study as well as Metro area profiles are available at the Brookings site].

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Published on Wednesday, January 20, 2010 in Brookings Institute
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