The Great Recession and Suburban Poverty: Lessons for a Post-Covid World

Authors: Fabian Terbeck*, University of Connecticut
Topics: Population Geography, Ethnicity and Race, Urban and Regional Planning
Keywords: Suburbs, Great Recession, Covid-19, Poverty, Unemployment, Race
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/11/2021
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:15 AM
Room: Virtual 29
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


For U.S. suburbs, the 2000s were a decade characterized by rising poverty rates and population growth of African Americans, Latinos, and Asians. Those trends were deeply impacted by the Great Recession of 2007-2009, which caused rising unemployment, poverty, and mortgage default rates, which disproportionately affected minorities and suburbs. In my presentation I decompose poverty trends by suburb type, racial/ethnic group, economic/demographic trend, and local/regional trend. Using the Chicago-Joliet-Naperville metropolitan area as a study area, my results show that exogenous trends and economic hardship due to the Great Recession had a major impact on suburban poverty rates. The particular vulnerability of minorities in suburbs during the Great Recession can be seen as a warning for the economic hardship that may result from the Covid-19 pandemic.

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