Michael B. Sauter, Alexander E. M. Hess and Samuel Weigley examine data from the Brookings Institution's newly published examination of America's changing face of poverty to determine the 10 cities with the biggest increases in suburban poverty between 2000 and 2011.
Atlanta, where the number of poor suburban residents increased by 158 percent between 2000 and 2011, has the dubious distinction of topping the list. "At the end of 2011, 88% of all the area’s residents living below the poverty lived in the suburbs — the largest proportion of any large metro area in the nation," say the authors. "According to the Brookings Institution’s [Elizabeth] Kneebone, 'as people came to the region, the region continued to grow, and then the housing market collapsed.'”
"While the increase in population and rising home prices have clearly been a factor in the rising numbers of poor people outside of cities, Kneebone cautioned that this is not the only factor affecting suburban poverty. 'It is also,' she noted, 'long-term residents that have been hit hard by the economy in the last decade. The recession clearly has a role in this trend.'”