When someone talks about the poor in this country, do you imagine dirty faced children on bare dirt floors? That image is accurate, but so is that of a family of three living in a cute three bedroom home at the end of a cul de sac in a subdivision. Only their lights have been shut off, both parents are unemployed and no one inside has health insurance.
15.4 million American suburban residents are living below the poverty line, up 11.5% from last year and 53% from 2000. Now, one-third of the nation’s poor reside in the suburbs.
This statistic contradicts the widespread notion that most of America’s poverty exists in rural and inner-city areas. Cities are still home to 12.7 million of the nation’s poor, up 5% from last year. The nation’s remaining 18 million poor are divided between living in smaller metro areas and rural communities.
Although the rise of overall poverty is driven by the Lesser Depression joblessness, it is becoming an increasingly suburban issue.
Before 2000, 10 million suburbanites were already living in poverty. With the onset of the Lesser Depression, the number of low-wage, low skilled construction, retail and manufacturing jobs greatly diminished. The result: record numbers of uneducated living within suburban communities – the poor.
Suburban poverty up 53% from 2000. Those numbers are staggering.
Do you live in the suburbs? Do you see this happening where you live? Share with us your stories in the comments.