Over 50% of Food Stamp Recipients Live in the Suburbs

Meet the new geography of poverty
More
Reuters

The housing bust didn't just sink the world economy. It sunk the suburbs too. 

Now, you probably think of white picket fences, big backyards, and perhaps a whiff of existential despair when you think about the suburbs. But you should think of economic despair instead. As Elizabeth Kneebone of the Brookings Institution points out, suburbanites made up almost 50 percent of food stamp recipients back in 2007 -- and 55 percent in 2011.

This is actually worse than it sounds. Their share of food stamps use only went up 5 percentage points, but suburban households' total food stamp use doubled between 2007 and 2011. By comparison, total food stamp use went up by 69 percent for city households.

The Great Recession accelerated the rise of a new geography of poverty. Homes that were supposed to be lead to the American Dream lead to financial ruin instead. And, unfortunately, this isn't going away anytime soon -- not if the recovery continues to only be one for the top 1 percent.

Hows' that for suburban despair.

Jump to comments
Presented by

Matthew O'Brien

Matthew O'Brien is a former senior associate editor at The Atlantic.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

A Delightful, Pixar-Inspired Cartoon About the Toys in Your Cereal Box

The story of an action figure and his reluctant sidekick, who trek across a kitchen in search of treasure.


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Juice Cleanses: The Worst Diet

A doctor tries the ever-popular Master Cleanse. Sort of.

Video

Why Did I Study Physics?

Using hand-drawn cartoons to explain an academic passion

Video

What If Emoji Lived Among Us?

A whimsical ad imagines what life would be like if emoji were real.

Video

Living Alone on a Sailboat

"If you think I'm a dirtbag, then you don't understand the lifestyle."

Feature

The Future of Iced Coffee

Are artisan businesses like Blue Bottle doomed to fail when they go mainstream?

Writers

Up
Down

More in Business

Just In