More Poor People Moving To Houston’s Suburbs

The number of high-poverty neighborhoods grew at a much faster pace in Houston’s suburbs than in urban areas.

The number of neighborhoods with a poverty rate of 20 percent or higher has increased more in Houston’s suburbs.

From 2000 to 2015, the number of high-poverty neighborhoods in Houston’s suburbs increased by almost 50 percent to 218.

In the same time frame, the number of poor urban neighborhoods grew by 36 percent to 160.

Sydney Bennet, a researcher with Apartment List, analyzed the data from a Harvard University housing report.

She said it’s a phenomenon seen across the United States.

“Part of the reason is as urban areas become more desirable living spaces and home prices increase there, people are pushed out further and further to the few suburbs that remain more affordable,” she said.

Houston has one of the faster growing poor suburban populations. Some of that has to do with the fact that Houston simply is more suburban than other cities, Bennet said.

But that reality is not registering with many efforts to fight poverty, which more often focus on urban areas.

“And there’s a lot less of that in the suburban areas,” she said. “So families that are in the suburbs there have less non-profits and foundations to go to.”

Poverty overall increased in the United States from 2000 to 2015 but was on a downward trend since 2010.


Florian Martin

Florian Martin

Business Reporter

Florian Martin is currently the News 88.7 business reporter. Florian’s stories can frequently be heard on other public radio stations throughout Texas and on NPR nationwide. Some of them have earned him awards from Texas AP Broadcasters, the Houston Press Club, National Association of Real Estate Editors, and Public Radio...

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