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As Americans flee the cities for the suburbs, many are failing to leave poverty behind.
The suburban poor outnumbered their inner-city counterparts for the first time last year, with more than 12 million suburban residents living in poverty, according to a study of the nation’s 100 largest metropolitan areas released Thursday.
Berube said several factors are contributing to an increase in suburban poverty:
# Suburbs are adding people much faster than cities, making it inevitable that the number of poor people living in suburbs would eventually surpass those living in cities.
# The poverty rate in large cities (18.8 percent) is still higher than it is in the suburbs (9.4 percent). But the overall number of people living in poverty is higher in the suburbs in part because of population growth.
# America’s suburbs are becoming more diverse, racially and economically. “There’s poverty really everywhere in metropolitan areas because there are low-wage jobs everywhere,” Berube said.
# Recent immigrants are increasingly bypassing cities and moving directly to suburbs, especially in the South and West. Those immigrants, on average, have lower incomes than people born in the United States.