November 29, 2008

New Federal Report: Poverty Spreading to the Suburbs

The day after Black Friday when we were all supposed to be crowding Target, Best Buy, Macys, and the malls, spending money we might not have on things we think we need but probably don't comes a study showing that "poverty is spreading and may be re-clustering in the suburbs."

The study comes from the Federal Reserve's Community Affairs department and the Brookings Institution Metropolitan Policy Program. The summary of this study comes from this Reuters report:

Poverty in the United States is spreading from rural and inner-city areas to the suburbs, a situation that can worsen as the economy confronts what may be a protracted recession.

With the U.S. economic outlook rapidly deteriorating, poverty could get worse. ... The U.S. housing market collapse has unleashed the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, forcing business to scale back on investments and driving the unemployment rate to a 14-year high.


Anonymous said...

All one has to do is look at the demographics for schools in any given area to get a general idea of what the "poverty level" of their area, specifically the number of students receiving free or reduced price school lunches. That would give you a general idea of how many kids going to those schools live in households that make 150% or lower of the federal poverty level... in the case of WCSD, that would be about 8% of the student population.

Anonymous said...

Actually Soccer Mom replies:

Excellent point, and one that should be looked into more.

In a quick review of California Department of Education data for the Walnut Creek School District, I found that, yes, in the 2007-08 year, the number of students receiving free or reduced price meals was 7.6 percent.

In 1997-98, that number was 9.9 percent.

That number got down to about 6.6 percent in 2002-03.

Interesting that in the San Ramon Valley district, that percentage for 2007-08 was 2 percent.

Meanwhile, in Mt. Diablo Unified, the percentage for 2007-08 is 33 percent, up from 31 percent in 2006-07, and up from 27 percent, 2002-03.

Out in Antioch, a city hit by the home foreclosure crisis, the percentage of students receiving free or reduced price meals in 2007-08 is 46 percent, up from 44 percent the year before and up from 32 percent in 2002=03.

Thanks for your post.