Poverty In America - Photo by Karen Apricot

Are you living in poverty? Or are you living near it? Are you living in a “slumurban” home?

Check the following list of suburban cities to see which ones have the largest increases in poverty during the last decade. Perhaps poverty is coming to a city near you…


Poverty is defined as a family in four that makes under $23,850. For a couple, it’s $15,730

Five decades after President Lyndon B. Johnson declared a war on poverty, the nation’s suburbs are turning poor, and the population living in poor neighborhoods reached 11.6 million.

Poverty in the suburbs is rising faster than in any other locale in the country, according to a study released by the Brookings Institution.

As a result, suburbs are dealing with problems that once seemed alien, issues compounded by a shortage of institutions helping the poor and distances that make it difficult for people to get to jobs and scarce to non-existent social services.

Most suburban communities aren’t equipped to handle the needs of the poor: The public transport systems are meager, the schools don’t offer English-as-a-second-language courses for immigrant children, and there aren’t the same networks of charity organizations dedicated to working with struggling families.

Following are 13 of the nation’s 100 largest metropolitan areas with a dramatic growth in poverty in the suburbs that surround them :

  • Atlanta, Georgia~ Atlanta suburban poverty rose 159% to 780,078 from 2000 to 2011 –– by far the fastest growth in suburban poverty in the nation.
  • Austin, Texas~ The number of poor households in Austin ballooned 143% to 103,248 from 2000 to 2011.
  • Salt Lake City, Utah~ The number of poor households in Salt Lake City, Utah increased 142% to 115,109 from 2000 to 2011.
  • Las Vegas, Nevada~ The number of poor households in Las Vegas increased 139% to 214,883 from 2000 to 2011.
  • Denver, Colorado~ The number of poor households in Denver increased 138% to 163,434 from 2000 to 2011.
  • Phoenix, Arizona~ The number of poor households in Phoenix increased 134% to 275,085 from 2000 to 2011.
  • Boise City, Idaho~ The number of poor households in Boise City increased 130% to 62,459 from 2000 to 2011.
  • Provo, Utah~ The number of poor households in Provo increased 129% to 39,784 from 2000 to 2011.
  • Minneapolis, Minnesota~ The number of poor households in Minneapolis increased 128% to 204,901 from 2000 to 2011.
  • Detroit, Michigan~The number of poor households in Detroit increased 115% to 453,784 from 2000 to 2011.
  • Charlotte, North Carolina~ The number of poor households in Charlotte, N.C. increased 113% to 140,760 from 2000 to 2011.
  • Dallas, Texas~ The number of poor households in Dallas increased 111% to 474,023 from 2000 to 2011.
  • Dayton, Ohio~  The number of poor households in the suburbs of Dayton increased 109% to 97,581 from 2000 to 2011

The prevalance of the slums in the suburbs is so common now, it’s coined a new term. Instead of suburban, it’s: “slumurban.”

Article authored by Carol Serpa. You can find the original story right here.