Penn IUR Publications

Document Type

Journal Article

Date of this Version

April 2003


Copyright Regional Science Association International. Reprinted from Papers in Regional Science, Volume 82, Issue 2, April 2003, pages 249-275.


Economics, Economic Development and Real Estate, 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.



Date Posted: 07 July 2006

This document has been peer reviewed.