Poverty Spreads to the Suburbs

“Poverty Moves to the Suburbs” Brookings Institute <br /><br />
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“Confronting Suburban Poverty in America” infographic, 2013
Courtesy of Brookings Institution


The spread of poverty to the suburbs has accelerated tremendously over the past decade.  In 2005, even before the economic downturn in 2008, more poor people lived in the nation’s suburbs than in cities.  Metropolitan Atlanta is one of the regions struggling with this issue.

Percent Change in Suburban poor population  - US Census Bureau data (Suburban Poverty Map)

“Percent Change in Suburban Poor Population, 95 of the Largest Metropolitan Areas, 2000-2010” analysis of U.S. Census and American Community Survey data
Courtesy of Brookings Institution

The number of suburban residents living below the federal poverty line in the United States has more than doubled since 1970. Poverty rates, or the percentage of the population that is poor, remain much higher in American cities than in suburbs as a rule. Suburban poverty rates, however, have increased by 50% on average since 1990.

Allard, S., and Paisner, S. (2016). The Rise of Suburban PovertyOxford Handbooks Online.