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Poverty takes root in Austin’s suburbs

By Juan Castillo and Melissa B. Taboada - American-Statesman Staff

From 2000 to 2011, the Austin metro area saw the nation’s second-fastest increase in the number of poor people living in the suburbs, according to a new book to be released Monday which describes poverty dramatically shifting from America’s inner cities to the suburbs and which calls on policymakers to rethink how they respond to poverty.

The suburban poor population grew 143 percent in the five-county Austin metro area during the 11-year period, outpacing overall suburban growth, according to the book by the Brookings Institution think tank in Washington, D.C. Among the nation’s 95 largest metro areas, only Atlanta saw faster growth in the number of poor living in the suburbs. The study defines suburbs as areas outside of the single biggest cities in each metro area.

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