Poor In Suburbs Outnumber Those In Cities, Study Claims

Source: CBS News

Many of America’s cities have grown and prospered over the last few decades, showing surprising declines in poverty and crime rates.

America’s iconic suburbs, however, have shown a dissimilar trend, so much so that there are now more poor people living there than in urban centers, according to a new analysis from the Metropolitan Policy Program of the Brookings Institution. The federal poverty level for a family of four is an annual income of $23,550.

As the poor population has surged throughout the nation since the turn of the century, the number of poor people living in suburbs grew 67 percent between 2000 and 2011 — a much bigger jump than in cities. The “War on Poverty” that was begun by Lyndon Johnson 50 years ago faces a very different battlefield today, and public policy should shift to reflect that, the study finds.

The rise in suburban poor is not just a question of people getting squeezed out of overpriced city housing, write study authors Elizabeth Kneebone and Alan Berube in the book “Confronting Suburban Poverty in America.”

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