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The Suburbs

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The data on urban population shifts and out-migration of poverty continues to roll in. A new report by the Brookings Institution shows a nationwide phenomenon of the suburbs getting poorer, to the point of eclipsing urban poverty. No city experienced this shift more markedly than Chicago. In 2011, 99% more suburbanites lived in poverty than in 2000 (363,966 to 724,233). Nationally, the average increase was 67%. None of this means that cities have gained a relative advantage — concentration of poverty is still higher in urban cores. The study's authors cited affordability, gentrification, and fewer restrictions on housing vouchers as causes, but some increase came from within. [Trib]