Suburban & Urban Core Poverty: 2012: Special Report by Elaine360


The US Census Bureau recently released poverty rate data by state, county and metropolitan area for 2012. As has been the case for decades, urban core poverty rates dwarf those of suburban areas in the nation’s 52 major metropolitan areas (those with more than 1 million population).

Urban Core & Suburban Poverty Rates

The average poverty rate in the 52 urban cores – the historical core municipalities – was 24.1 percent, more than double the 11.7 percent rate in suburban areas (Figure 1). These high poverty rates have continued despite the best decade in more than one-half century for the urban cores which have experienced net population increases in the neighborhoods within two miles of downtown. The heavy urban core losses of the 1960s through the 1980s are generally no longer occurring. Yet, between 2000 and 2010, more than 80 percent of the population growth in the urban cores was below the poverty line (See City Growth Mainly Below Poverty Line). By contrast, less than one third of the suburban population increase was below the poverty line.

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