Twin Cities suburban poverty rates among nation's fastest rising


The Brookings Institution on Monday will release a study that says the Twin Cities area ranks among the top 10 in the nation on a list of metro areas with the fastest-rising suburban poverty rates.

Shakopee and Apple Valley top the list of outer-ring suburbs with dramatic increases in poverty rates, the Star Tribune reports. Both cities allowed lots of townhouse construction during the housing boom — nearly 2,000 units in the two cities from 2000 to 2005, according to the Metropolitan Council, the newspaper notes. The Star Tribune visits Inver Hills Community College, near some of the wealthiest neighborhoods in suburban Dakota County, but where 40 percent of its students identify themselves as in need of food assistance.

MPR reports that the number of suburban Twin Cities residents living in poverty has more than doubled in the last decade, according to the new study. Brookings data indicate there are 115,000 more poor people living in the Twin Cities suburbs than there were 10 years ago.

Poverty grew much faster during that time in the suburbs than in St. Paul and Minneapolis, MPR reports. But MPR offers this perspective: The poverty rate in the Twin Cities suburbs still stands at less than 8 percent, still lower than most other suburban areas.

The report by Brookings, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank, challenges the notion that poverty is more a problem for urban cores and struggling rural areas.

“The landscape of poverty has changed dramatically in the past decade, and public perceptions haven’t kept up,” said Elizabeth Kneebone, a fellow in the Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings, the Star Tribune reports.

The report aims to explore solutions as it examines "the new reality of metropolitan poverty and opportunity in America."

Nationwide, during the 2000s, poverty grew twice as fast in suburban areas as in cities, NPR reports. There are now more than 16 million poor people in the nation's suburbs — more than in urban or rural areas, and their advocates are having a tough time reaching them, NPR reports.

Next Up

police lights

5-year-old dies 3 weeks after assault, mother's charges upped to murder

The girl died three weeks after the assault took place.

hospital, emergency room

2 teens, Texas man suffer life-threatening injuries in MN crash

One of the drivers crossed the center line and hit the other vehicle.

WIkimedia Commons - Frey April 20, 2021

Frey under fire for $359K Agape contract awarded via COVID order

Some council members called it a "misuse" of his powers, but the mayor pushed back.

minneapolis mayor - Sheila Nezhad and Jacob Frey

Minneapolis DFL fails to endorse a candidate for mayor

Sheila Nezhad and Jacob Frey finished first and second, respectively, in the endorsement process.


Maplewood man charged with DWI after 'guys weekend' ends in tragedy

The 32-year-old was drunk-driving a pontoon, with one of his friends falling off and dying.


Storm reports: Hail the size of tennis balls, baseballs hammered MN

Big-time hailstones slammed Lonsdale and Cannon Falls.

duluth police department

Man arrested for violent assault, robbery of 78-year-old in Duluth

The victim suffered stab wounds and broken bones in the attack.

Minneapolis police

More body parts found in 2nd area of Northeast Minneapolis

Police are looking for additional body parts.


2 killed in head-on crash involving trucks on Highway 23

The crash was reported just before 6 a.m. Thursday.


Report shows Minnesota property taxes rising fastest outside the Twin Cities

Property taxes are up all over Minnesota this year. But while the Twin Cities area deals with hikes of a little over 3 percent, the increases approach 9 percent in the rest of the state. Some of the biggest increases are in Duluth and on the Iron Range.