Sunday, January 24, 2010

Think you know where the poor folks live?

Florida suburbs were among the first to see the effects of the “Great Recession” translate into significant increases in poverty between 2007 and 2008.

It was the leading edge of a trend seen all across the country. By 2008, suburbs were home to the largest and fastest-growing poor population. Between 2000 and 2008, suburbs in the largest metro areas saw their poor population grow almost five times faster than primary cities. As a result, by 2008 large suburbs were home to 1.5 million more poor than their primary cities and housed almost one-third of the nation’s poor overall.

The Tampa Bay area's share of suburban poor grew by 7.2% between 2000 and 2008. That was the 11th largest increase in the nation. In 2008, 69.6% of the area's poor people lived in the suburbs.

In Orlando, the number of people living below the poverty level increased significantly in both the city and the suburbs, but the poverty rate stayed about the same. In 2008, 43,732 people in the primary city lived below of the poverty level, compared to 197,004 poor in the surrounding suburbs.

Suburban poverty increased significantly in Lakeland, both in total numbers and in the poverty rate. In 2008, 75,075 people lived below the poverty level in the suburbs, up 25,350 from 2000. And the suburban poverty rate rose to 15.8%.

In Miami, the number of suburban poor people increased significantly, growing by 44,117 to 596,772.

Cape Coral saw significant increases in the number of people living poverty in both the primary city and the surrounding suburbs.

The numbers were flat in both Jacksonville and Palm Bay.

Based on increases in unemployment over the past year, these metro areas are also likely to experience large increases in poverty in 2009.

Read the Brookings Institution report here and see the city profiles here.

Thanks to The Spencerian for the link.

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