Poverty is growing at a faster rate in the suburbs than in the cities, and the Pittsburgh area is ahead of the curve — but not in a good way.
Nationally, about 55 percent of the population living in poverty is outside of cities, but in Allegheny County, 61 percent of people living in poverty are in the suburbs, and the number rises to 79 percent when the Pittsburgh metropolitan statistical area is measured. That area includes Allegheny and its six surrounding counties.
Those numbers come from Elizabeth Kneebone, a fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C., and co-author of “Confronting Suburban Poverty in America.”
Ms. Kneebone said suburban poverty has been growing since 2000 and became more significant than urban poverty even before the economic meltdown of 2008 and 2009. The recession exacerbated it.