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Learn more about America's 'suburban poor'

Learn more about suburban poverty in America as featured in the Dateline report America Now: Lost in Suburbia from Sunday, June 24th, at 8pm/7c.  The data and excerpts below have been compiled from the Brookings Institute in Washington D.C.  You can read the full report here, "The Suburbanization of Poverty", by the Brookings Institute. 

"Significantly, the 2000s also marked a turning point in the geography of American poverty. The 2010 data confirm that poor populations continued their decade-long shift toward suburban areas. From 2000 to 2010, the number of poor people in major-metro suburbs grew 53 percent (5.3 million people), compared to 23 percent in cities (2.4 million people). By 2010, suburbs were home to one-third of the nation’s poor population—outranking cities (27.5 percent), small metro areas (20.5 percent), and non-metropolitan communities (18.7 percent)." (see full article: 'The Rapid Growth of the Suburban Poor")


"Along with increases in total number of poor, the rate of poverty - or the share of the total population living below the poverty line - also significantly increased between 2000 and 2008, both nationally and across community types. Among community types, primary cities experienced the smallest, though still significant, increase in the poverty rate over this time period (0.3 percentage points). Continuing a trend that began in the 1990s, large suburbs experienced an above-average increase in their poverty rate (0.9 percentage points)."


"While poverty increased on the whole for cities and suburbs in the nation's 95 largest metro areas, wide variation exists within these aggregate trends. Clearly, certain parts of the country have faced relatively greater economic strain over the course of this decade than others. Midwestern metro areas have seen the largest growth in poverty by far since 2000, and this growth has been shared across city and suburban lines."


"Poverty trends within individual metro areas bear out these larger regional patterns. Between 2000 and 2008, primary cities in 54 metro areas experienced a significant change in their poverty rates. Fully 44 of them saw poverty increase over this time period, with the majority located in the Midwest and South. A smaller number of metro areas (33) saw suburban poverty rates change over this time period, with all but two experiencing increases. Again, the greatest increases in suburban poverty were seen in Midwestern metro areas."


"In 2008, 91.6 million people - more than 30 percent of the nation's population - fell below 200 percent of the federal poverty level. There has been a greater concentration of low income residents who now find themselves between 100 and 200 percent above the poverty line. This trend signals the diminishing middle class."

Read the full report, "The Suburbanization of Poverty", by the Brookings Institute here and visit the following online resources for more information about basic needs and services in your area: