Has the Concentration of Income and Poverty among Subsurbs of Large US Metropolitan Areas Changed over Time?
Governance and Politics
Housing and Community Development
American policy analysts have assumed that poverty is increasingly concentrating in the inner suburbs of large cities. This study demonstrates that that assumption is inaccurate. Using data on household income and poverty for suburban civil divisions from the 1970, 1980, and 1990 US Censuses, this article calculates values for two indicators of the change in the relative concentration of income and poverty, the coefficient of variation, and a regression of changes on initial values. Results indicate that poverty and income concentrations have not generally increased among suburbs over the last twenty years. There is evidence, however, that poverty has increasingly concentrated within some suburban municipalities of older metropolitan areas in the northeast and midwest.