In the News

Covering Suburban Poverty

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Natalie Holmes

Since Confronting Suburban Poverty in America was released last May, we’ve witnessed a proliferation of news articles about suburban poverty. Here are ten of the best in-depth pieces—including both local and national coverage—from the past several months (in chronological order):

1. Suburban PovertyChicago Tonight, November 4, 2013

In the Chicago region, the number of suburban poor increased 99 percent over the past decade. Job losses and high foreclosure rates have meant mounting problems in many South Cook County municipalities.

2. Hidden In The Suburbs: America’s New PoorFronteras Desk, November 5, 2013

The housing bubble drew families to the Las Vegas region—and stranded many, poor, in the suburbs once the bubble burst.

3. A Region Redefined Part III: Poverty shifts to the suburbsThe Advocate, November 30, 2013

Hurricane Katrina accelerated the decades-long shift of New Orleans’ poor to the suburbs.

4. Poverty grows on Maple Street, PBS NewsHour Weekend, January 11, 2014

A house, a car, and a job don’t provide a guarantee that a family in Suffolk County, New York can escape poverty.

5. Poverty rates grow in suburban communitiesThe Winchester Star, March 15, 2014

For many of the poor living in Boston suburbs, their “safety net” is a hodgepodge of local government and nonprofit services.

6. Does sprawl matter for social mobility?Washington Post Wonkblog, April 2, 2014

A majority of metropolitan poor live in suburbs, and recent evidence suggests that suburban poverty may inhibit intergenerational mobility.

7. Sprawled Out in Atlanta: What happens when poverty spreads to a place that wasn’t built for poor people?Politico, May 8, 2014

Cobb County, Georgia has long been a symbol of red-state suburban comfort, but in recent years, it has also become a symbol of the nationwide spike in suburban poverty.

8. Hardship Makes a New Home in the SuburbsThe New York Times, May 9, 2014

Throughout suburban California, aspiring middle class families who fled urban areas find themselves separated from social services and job opportunities.

9. Trouble Spreads Out, The Economist, May 17, 2014

The latest trends from England show that social problems are rising most rapidly in the suburban communities outside the nation’s big cities.

10. Agency report on poor people sparks feud with Oakland CountyDetroit Free Press, May 19, 2014

Metro Detroit offers an important reminder that suburban poverty often coexists uncomfortably with suburban politics.


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.