Now suburbia is where the poor are
Poverty there has surged by 64% since 2000, and the largest population of low-income people is no longer urban.
Updated 4:50 p.m. ET.
The image of suburbia as a land of plenty, offering refuge to families fleeing urban poverty, may be about as outmoded as a wood-panel station wagon.
That's because poverty has moved to the suburbs. The number of suburban residents living in poverty jumped by almost 64% from 2000 to 2011, which means about 16.4 million suburban residents now struggle with low incomes, Elizabeth Kneebone, a fellow at the Brookings Institute, told MSN moneyNOW. Her research will be published in May in a book called "Confronting Suburban Poverty in America."
That means suburbia is now home to more poor people than cities, which house 13.4 million people living in poverty, according to the institute's study of 95 U.S. metropolitan areas.
"To effectively address the challenges, it's important to know where the poor live, and we have outdated perceptions" of where poverty strikes home, Kneebone said.
One suburban family struggling with poverty was profiled by NBC News, which on Friday documented the trend of growing impoverishment in suburbia. The family, headed by single mother Tara Simons, moved to suburbia in search of good schools, but after she quit her job, she struggled to find new employment and has fallen into debt.
The spread of poverty was spurred by the two economic downturns during the past decade, starting with the early-2000 recession and made worse by the 2007-2009 Great Recession. The poverty rate in America is at about its highest level in almost two decades, with roughly 15% of the country falling under the threshold.
"Lower-income individuals are moving to the suburbs, finding work" in decentralized and lower-wage jobs, Kneebone said. But long-term suburbanites "are slipping down the economic ladder."
Low-wage jobs have accounted for the biggest share of new positions since the Great Recession, with a poll earlier this month finding that workers making $35,000 or less are unsure whether they'll ever find advancement.
The jump in suburban poor is putting more pressure on those communities, especially if the towns are without the infrastructure to provide necessary support systems. "The safety net is much patchier than in urban areas that may have been building up these resources over decades," Kneebone notes.
But suburbia isn't alone in seeing more poor residents, she adds. The number of poor people in cities rose by 29% during the same period -- a smaller pace than in suburbia but still significant.
"It's growing fastest in suburbia, but it's not like another community type is doing so much better," Kneebone notes.
Overall, about 48.9 million Americans live in poverty, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. A family of four earning less than about $22,800 would qualify for that designation.
Obama said these cuts wouldnt effect anyone in the 75k to 200k area, How can this be? He said no new taxs! How can this be? Could it be........he lied? Noooo he`s a politician he wouldnt do that. You gullible sheep.
And, who owns those big businesses?......... the ultra rich, of course. And, if America by some chance does survive the gross exploitation by those who should care about it but don't, Bernanke has secured for himself a huge money, no-show :consultancy "job" on Wall Street into perpetuity for all he has done to enrich it at the poverty-making expense of the rest of us.
How did we allow crooks to take over America?
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