Poverty statistics included in the map above cover the suburban areas only — not the entire metropolitan area. For more about how the data was collected please see the notes and methodology below.

Metro Profiles

Data Notes

Metro profiles are available for the 100 largest metropolitan areas, based on population in 2010. For each metropolitan area, we identify primary cities and suburbs. Primary cities (also referred to as cities) are those that appear first in the official metropolitan statistical area name and any other cities in the official name that have populations of at least 100,000. Suburbs make up the remainder of the metropolitan areas outside of primary cities. In each profile, the metropolitan area name has been adjusted to reflect only the names of places treated as primary cities in the analysis.

The profiles draw from an array of data sources, so please be advised of the following issues:

Availability of American Community Survey data: The profiles use American Community Survey (ACS) single-year estimates for 2010 and 2011 for poverty estimates and estimates of the foreign-born population in poverty. Single-year estimates are available only for places with a population of 65,000 or more. Five metropolitan areas had primary cities with populations below that threshold:  Greenville, SC; Harrisburg, PA; Lancaster, PA; North Port, FL; and Poughkeepsie, NY. Accordingly, the profiles for these five metropolitan areas use ACS three-year estimates where needed.

Differences in the definition of cities and suburbs: The profiles include data from earlier papers in the Metropolitan Opportunity Series on topics including unemployment, housing choice vouchers, and transit. Based on earlier population estimates, these studies employed slightly different lists of the 100 largest metropolitan areas and their primary cities. As a result, data for Lancaster, PA is limited. In addition slight variations in the definition of city and suburb exist across estimates in the profiles of North Port, FL; Nashville-Davidson–Murfreesboro, TN; Phoenix-Mesa-Glendale, AZ; and San Diego-Carlsbad, CA. Finally, the geographic place boundary used to define Honolulu was changed based on the 2010 census, and now covers less area than in 2000, which will affect comparisons over time. Also, please note that suburban unemployment data is unavailable for the Honolulu, HI metro area based on reporting limitations.

Download the Methodology (XLSX)