US Catholic Faith in Real Life

Poverty moves to the 'burbs, cont'd

Kevin Clarke | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare

Poverty has moved to the suburbs in the United States. We reported on this phenomenon almost a year ago, but a recent Brookings Institution study of Census Bureau data on poverty confirms that there are more poor living in U.S. suburbs now than in America's cities. That trend has accelerated as the damage from the great recession deepened last year. Millions of low-wage workers have followed service sector jobs out to the 'burbs. Now they are finding themselves laid off and struggling even harder to get by in the cultural homeworld of the American Dream.

Reviewing the Brookings report., CNN Money says that a record 15.4 million suburban residents—one-third of the nation's poor—lived below the poverty line last year, up 11.5 percent from the year before. That compares to 12.7 million in America's cities. (The remaining 18 million poor folks in the U.S. are roughly split between smaller metro areas and rural communities.)

According to Brookings, since 2000, the number of suburban poor has gone up 53 percent, battered by the two recessions that first wiped out many manufacturing jobs then more recently low-wage construction and retail positions.

For more read:

"Broke in the burbs" from U.S. Catholic

"Poverty pervades in the suburbs" from CNN Money