Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Suburban Utah sees huge spike in poverty

A new book released yesterday shows that between 2000 and 2011, the rise in suburban poverty rose 64 percent, more than twice the growth rate of poverty in cities.

By 2011, almost 16.4 million suburban residents nationwide lived below the federal poverty level — now surpassing the number of impoverished city dwellers by 3 million, according to Confronting Suburban Poverty in America, written by Elizabeth Kneebone and Alan Berube of the Brookings Institution Metropolitan Program.

Surprisingly, the suburban areas of three Utah cities ranked among the book’s top 15 in terms of fastest-growing poverty: Salt Lake City came in third with a 142 percent jump, the Provo-Orem area ranked eighth with a 129 percent increase and Ogden-Clearfield came in 14th with a bump of 105 percent.

Berube and Kneebone see this rapid growth in suburban poverty as more than a temporary change caused by the recent recession. They attribute the rise to shifts in jobs and wages, population growth and immigration, collapse of the housing market and the foreclosure crisis. Salt Lake Tribune