2010 Census data has come under analysis and it shows that the general US economy is not in the best of shape. Curiously, the percentage rate of African American poverty is a just a tad lower than that for white Americans. It’s hard to say off-the-cuff what this means but we see it’s enough to get this emerging downturn labelled in the mainstream media as ‘different this time’ and as a suburban recession/depression.
Welcome to the suburban depression CNBC
One doesn’t have to look far or be a professional demographer/geographer to find evidence of suburban poverty. Des Moines, Iowa put its hand up during roll call in 2007.
Rethinking Social Services in the Des Moines Suburbs
NPR page with audio file
Downtown East Side normally leaps to mind when considering poverty in Vancouver, Canada’s Pacific Rim big city. If you’ve ever seen that neighbourhood for yourself anytime in the last few decades then the reference is all too understandable. Unfortunately, Vancouver is now seeing some of the movement of poverty that Toronto is. In January, 2011 the Globe and Mail published a map detailing this change using Statistics Canada census data for 1971 and 2006.
Pockets of poverty are arising in the suburbs of Vancouver while prosperity is popping up in the DES
The United Way takes a look at ‘vertical poverty’ in ageing inner suburbs. ‘Moving up in the world’ doesn’t really mean what it used to.
Vertical Poverty Press Conference
YouTube 16:47 (highly recommended)
Created in 1974, Mississauga is a vast Edge City in the western part of one of North America’s largest city-suburb agglomerations. For decades there it was all about growth, growth, growth. Now, the buzz has begun to wear off a bit, especially in areas with older high rise buildings. This article from the Globe and Mail, a relatively conservative newspaper for its century-or-so of existence, encapsulates the dawning of an awareness of post-growth issues, including poverty. Targeting priority neighbourhoods for social spending, as is done in Toronto, has begun to get support. The tagline of the City of Mississauga is ‘Leading Today for Tomorrow.’ We’ll see what that means soon enough!
Poverty hides in the suburbs: will ‘priority neighbourhoods’ help?
Word is that Australia has some of the most suburban-ey suburbs in the universe. Real full-on, over-the-top, highway-to-hell ones. If you think about it, why should North Americans have all the bloody fun, mate?
Herald Sun (Melbourne):
Our outer suburbs are poverty traps
Where to start? Well, a lot of this business began with things we felt intuitively, observed, experienced, read about, and talked about but had difficulty fully articulating. When the economy crashed in 2008 this process of puzzling over what is around us became all the more vexing. Coming across two major papers from the Brookings Institution led to a bit of a ‘Eureka’ moment, made things ‘official’, as it were. Statistical evidence that suburban poverty is increasing in the United States (with implications for Canada and elsewhere) is on the table now, apparently for good. Evidence in Canada is available, worrisome, growing in detail and getting harder to ignore. Proof that a major change is under way in social conditions on this continent.
The Brookings Institution is a major, centre-of-spectrum think tank in Washington, DC. It was established in 1916 and addresses a wide variety of public-interest topics.
This link takes you to a download location for the report:
By 2008, suburbs were home to the largest and fastest-growing poor population in the country.