New Home to Most Poor Americans: the 'Burbs

Suburban poverty has skyrocketed, study finds

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted May 20, 2013 3:41 AM CDT | Updated May 25, 2013 8:02 AM CDT

(Newser) – The face of American poverty is now a suburban one, according to new research from the Brookings Institution. Researchers found that the number of people living in poverty in the suburbs soared 64% between 2000 and 2010, more than twice the rate of urban areas—meaning that now more poor people live in suburbs than in cities or rural areas, although the overall poverty rate remains higher in cities, the Miami Herald reports.

Researchers say the explosion in suburban poverty is the result of many factors, including the housing bust, urban gentrification, and the loss of manufacturing jobs. In places like Orange County, California, "everything is nicely maintained. Things look good on the surface," the director of a charity helping struggling families tells the LA Times. "But the need has just skyrocketed."

Hard times behind picket fences.
Hard times behind picket fences.   (?)
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The myth of suburban prosperity has been a stubborn one. - Christopher Neidt, academic director of Hofstra University's National Center for Suburban Studies

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