The Suburbanization of Poverty

It's happening! The suburbs are becoming the new center for the poor. The economy and the sub prime meltdown has accelerated our predicted decline of the suburban home.

In our book the Frugal Prosumer Philosophy in the chapter Preparing for your economic future we state:

"The winds of change are blowing, and the social disruption of change, for good or bad, has already started. Many concerned with preserving the planet had moved to the country. Now rural areas are seeing major changes. Shoppers can no longer afford the gas to drive many miles to buy what they need or want. Commuters from the suburbs have started to realize their lifestyle is not economically and ecologically sustainable. They are waking up to the fact that by moving back to the city they can save on transportation costs, obtain cheaper housing, live in more energy efficient, multiunit dwellings, and have more free time.
The flight to the suburbs in the 60’s and 70’s is reversing. Without cheap fuel the large, energy-inefficient suburban homes and the accompanying long, expensive commutes will not only make sustaining the houses impossible but will lead to their devaluation, increased pollution and depleted resources. Add to this the downsizing that will be accompanying the coming retirement of millions of baby boomers, this may not be a good time to be investing in big houses."

An analysis by the Brookings Institution shows that suburbs were home to the largest and fastest-growing poor population in the country.
Over the course of this decade, two economic downturns translated into a significant rise in poverty, nationally and in many of the country’s metropolitan and non-metropolitan communities. Suburbs saw by far the greatest growth in their poor population and by 2008 had become home to the largest share of the nation’s poor. These trends are likely to continue in the wake of the latest downturn, given its toll on traditionally more suburbanized industries and the faster pace of growth in suburban unemployment. This ongoing shift in the geography of American poverty increasingly requires regional scale collaboration by policymakers and social service providers in order to effectively address the needs of a poor population that is increasingly suburban.
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