Poverty is spreading and becoming more concentrated
The share of the region’s population living at 185% of poverty or below—$44,093 for a family of four in 2013—jumped from 15.8% in 2000 to 22.7% in 2009-2013. The number of residents in this economic strata living in the region’s suburban and rural areas now exceeds the number living in the cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul combined.
A Council analysis of U.S. Census data also shows that even as poverty is spreading, it is becoming increasingly concentrated – meaning the share of residents in poverty within census tracts increased. Areas of concentrated poverty, as defined by the Council, are census tracts where 40% or more of the residents live with incomes below 185% of the federal poverty threshold.
Between 2000 and 2009-2013, the number of ACPs across the region nearly doubled, going from 61 to 112 census tracts. In addition, people of color are more likely to live in these areas than are white residents.
More poor people living in the Twin Cities suburbs.
According to a recent Brookings Institution study, the Twin Cities region’s trends on poverty mirror national trends. The rapid suburbanization of poverty has several causes, including more rapid suburban growth and national economic changes that have left many longtime suburban households in worse financial shape.
Read more about the Brookings Institution study.