The Atlantic’s Cities blog notes the astonishing change in the geography of poverty in the United States between 1980 and 2010.
Emily Badger writes:
Poverty in the United States doesn’t look like it did just a few decades ago. In many metro areas, it touches more people today than in 1980. The demographics have changed too, with new and expanding communities of the Hispanic poor in cities like Phoenix and Las Vegas. And the geography has shifted – as we’ve previously written, following the work of Brookings Institution researchers Alan Berube and Elizabeth Kneebone, poverty now stretches well into the suburbs.
To get a better picture of what all these changes look like over time, the Urban Institute recently created a helpful new mapping tool that tracks fine-grained Census data on poverty for every metropolitan area of the country, spanning the years from 1980-2010. The patterns vary by city (Chicago Magazine has a good discussion of what the tool illustrates there). Just about everywhere, however, poverty appears to be spreading.
We’d be interested in hearing about how churches are experiencing and responding to this development.