2014 July

Research Brief: The Growth and Spread of Concentrated Poverty, 2000 to 2008-12

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While poverty increased and spread in the 2000s, it also became more concentrated in high-poverty and economically distressed neighborhoods, and those neighborhoods were increasingly located in the suburbs. By 2008-2012, the suburbs accounted for 40 percent of residents living in such areas in the nation’s 100 largest metro areas. Elizabeth explains why this increased concentration of poverty in suburban communities can pose greater challenges.

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Place and the Paul Ryan Poverty Plan

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Cross-posted on Brookings Metro’s blog, The Avenue

Elizabeth Kneebone

The new poverty plan unveiled last week by Rep. Paul Ryan has definitely sparked a conversation, generating a flurry of responses from positive to critical to somewhere in between (call it skeptical). By not engaging in a budget cutting exercise as in the past, Ryan has framed his proposals as an effort to start a conversation in Washington about real policy reforms to more effectively fight poverty and promote economic opportunity.

But for all of Rep. Ryan’s talk about the traveling he did over the past year to learn from people fighting poverty on the “front lines,” his new plan says very little about the importance of place in that fight. Whether it’s increasing access to opportunity or streamlining access to services, place matters.

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Confronting Suburban Poverty in Johnson County, Kansas

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Elizabeth Kneebone

Three years ago, I was invited to Johnson County, Kansas to speak at the county’s annual Human Services Summit about growing poverty in the Kansas City region’s suburbs. Earlier this month, United Community Services of Johnson County (UCS)—the event’s organizer—invited me back to revisit the topic at this year’s summit. I was immediately struck by how much the conversation has evolved in the region in recent years.
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Learn about suburban poverty in your community, how innovators around the country are addressing it, and what you can do locally and nationally to take action.