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How Poverty Moved To Chicago’s Suburbs

Not long ago, America passed an important statistical barrier, as Emily Badger writes: “Today, more poor people live in the suburbs (16.4 million of them) than in U.S. cities (13.4 million), despite the perception that poverty remains a uniquely urban problem.” I think calling it “uniquely” urban is a bit off—while I might be a bit overinvested in Appalachian history, the problem of rural poverty is, I think, pretty well recognized, going back through the War on Poverty in the 1960s and rural electrification before that.

But the focus on suburban poverty is fairly new. It preceded the post-2010-Census statistics, which intensified the focus. But to see why it’s become such an issue of late, and why poverty was so linked with urban centers, it helps to see the movement of the poor people over time. Please click here to read the full story in Chicago Magazine, posted by Whet Moser, or here to view the Urban Institute’s poverty mapping application.

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