Affordable Housing, Community Development, Reports and Publications

Challenges and Opportunities in Addressing Growth of Poverty in Suburbs

Brookings Institute

There are more people living in poverty in suburbia than there are in cities according to a new book Confronting Suburban Poverty in America. From 2000 to 2011, the percentage of poor residents living in suburbs increased by 67%. The authors of the book, Elizabeth Kneebone and Alan Berube discuss how over the past few decades suburbs have seen a faster year over year increase in poor residents than cities, while the antipoverty infrastructure does not adequately address this geographic shift. 

The book examines the causes for the rise in suburban poverty which include:

  • A greater rise in population in the suburbs over cities from 2000 to 2011.
  • An increase of housing choice voucher households in suburbs in 2008 from 2000
  • An almost 100% increase in unemployed population in the suburbs from 2007 to 2010
  • The increase in low income students in the suburbs has increased almost 3 times faster than the increase in city schools.

The book includes recommendations on how public, private and nonprofit organizations can embark on community development to alleviate poverty in suburbs and how they can create more economic opportunity for the suburban poor.

Click here to read the press release from the Brookings Institute.

Click here to find out more about the book.  


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