BTC BRIEF: Is Suburbia the New Frontier of Poverty in North Carolina?

By Tazra Mitchell
Public Policy Fellow, Budget & Tax Center
August 2012



  • Even though the population in North Carolina’s suburbs declined by 2 percent from 2000 to 2006-2010, the number of people who were poor in the suburbs grew by 40 percent. The poor population grew 13 times more in the suburbs than in urban areas. By 2006-10, the poverty rate in the suburbs was 13.2 percent.
  • From 2006-2010, the poor population living in high-poverty suburban neighborhoods quadrupled, far outpacing the growth rates in urban areas and at the state level.
  • African Americans and Latinos living in the suburbs were 2 to 4 times more likely to be poor than their white counterparts in 2006-10. They were also 2 to 4 times more likely to live in high-poverty suburban neighborhoods than whites.
  • Given the quick shift in the economic landscape of suburban areas, strengthening suburban safety nets and coordinating anti-poverty efforts at the regional level will be essential for rebuilding North Carolina’s economy.
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