Guess where most people in poverty live? Hint: It’s not in the inner cities or rural America.
It’s in the idyllic suburbs.
A record 15.4 million suburban residents lived below the poverty line last year, up 11.5% from the year before, according to a Brookings Institution analysis of Census data released Thursday. That’s one-third of the nation’s poor.
And their ranks are swelling fast, as jobs disappear and incomes decline amid the continued weak economy.
Since 2000, the number of suburban poor has skyrocketed by 53%, battered by the two recessions that wiped out many manufacturing jobs early on, and low-wage construction and retail positions more recently.
America’s cities, meanwhile, had 12.7 million people in poverty last year, up about 5% from the year before and 23% since 2000. The remaining 18 million poor folks in the U.S. are roughly split between smaller metro areas and rural communities.