Is Suburbia the new frontier of poverty in North Carolina?
A new report by the N.C. Budget and Tax Center finds the number of poor individuals living in the suburbs grew by 40 percent between 2000 and 2006-2010.
Although residents of urban areas are still more likely to be poor than suburban residents, the report said, the suburbs’ poor population grew 13 times more than in urban areas and the number of high-poverty neighborhoods grew more than 4 times faster in the suburbs.
African Americans and Latinos living in the suburbs were 2 times to 4 times more likely to be poor than their white counterparts, between 2006-2010. They were also 2 to 4 times more likely to live in high-poverty neighborhoods than whites, respectively.
Other key findings from the BTC brief include:
- From 2006-2010, the poor population living in high-poverty suburban neighborhoods quadrupled, far outpacing the growth rates in urban areas and at the state level.
- North Carolinians living in high-poverty neighborhoods face restricted access to the
education, jobs and social networks that can improve their financial standings.
Research shows that high neighborhood-poverty rates can lead to negative
neighborhood outcomes such as low-quality educational opportunities, weaker
employment networks, poorer health outcomes, and elevated levels of crime.
- Given the quick shift in the economic landscape of suburban areas, strengthening suburban safety nets and coordinating anti-poverty efforts at the regional level will be essential for rebuilding North Carolina’s economy.
To read the full report by the Budget and Tax Center’s Tazra Mitchell, click here.