The Great Recession may have ended in 2009, but despite the subsequent jobs rebound and declining unemployment rate, the number of people living below the federal poverty line in the United States remains stuck at recession-era record levels.
The rapid growth of the nation’s poor population during the 2000s also coincided with significant shifts in the geography of American poverty. Poverty spread beyond its historic urban and rural locales, rising rapidly in smaller metropolitan areas and making the nation’s suburbs home to the largest and fastest-growing poor population in the country. Yet, even as poverty spread to touch more people and places, it became more concentrated in distressed and disadvantaged areas.
The intersection between poverty and place matters. Poor neighborhoods come with an array of challenges that negatively affect both the people who live in those neighborhoods—whether they themselves are poor or not—as well as the larger regions in which those neighborhoods are located. Residents of poor neighborhoods face higher crime rates and exhibit poorer physical and mental health outcomes. They tend to go to poor-performing neighborhood schools with higher dropout rates. Their job-seeking networks tend to be weaker and they face higher levels of financial insecurity.
Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at U.S. concentrated poverty in the wake of the Great Recession | Brookings Institution