Report on the Social Service Challenges of Suburban Poverty
By Scott Allard

Several recent trends have begun to upset this familiar urban-suburban narrative about poverty and opportunity in metropolitan America. In 1999, large U.S. cities and their suburbs had roughly equal numbers of poor residents, but by 2008 the number of suburban poor exceeded the poor in central cities by 1.5 million.

This report, co-authored with Benjamin Roth, published by the Brookings Institution, examines data from the Census Bureau and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), along with in-depth interviews and a new survey of social services providers in suburban communities surrounding Chicago, IL; Los Angeles, CA; and Washington, D.C. to assess the challenges that rising suburban poverty poses for local safety nets and community-based organizations.

Scott W. Allard is a Professor at the Daniel J. Evans School of Public Affairs at the University of Washington, and a Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution. His presentation at the Center for Poverty Research Poverty and Place conference is “Places in Need:  The Geography of Poverty and the American Safety Net.”