By Ted Schnell and Pam DeFiglio, Patch.com
Chicago’s suburbs now have as many poor as the Windy City has, according to a report on the soaring poverty rate, the Daily Herald reports.
The Poverty Matters report, which was released by the Heartland Alliance's Social IMPACT Research Center, draws three key findings:
Poverty exploded in the suburbs, surging 95 percent since 1990, when about one-third of the Chicago region’s poor population lived in the suburbs, to 50 percent in 2011. That means that about the same number of people experience poverty in the suburbs as they do in Chicago.
Surge in suburban poverty well-outpaced the 29 percent population increase from 1990 to 2011. Further, the increase in poverty was greater among children and all racial and ethnic groups in the suburbs than it was in Chicago.
From 1990 to 2011, the suburbs saw improvements or gains that were less pronounced than in Chicago.
In its story on the report, the Daily Herald notes that researchers call the trend "the suburbanization of poverty."
"It definitely flies in the face of the image of affluence in the suburbs," research associate Jennifer Clary told the Daily Herald.
Clary also told the the Daily Herald that the shift is a nationwide trend and not specific to the Chicago metro area.
The Poverty Matters report uses 2011 federal income guidelines to define poverty — that is an annual income less than:
$11,484 for a single person.
$14,657 for a couple.
$17,916 for a family of three.
$23,021 for a family of four.