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Study: Poverty In San Diego Suburbs Increasing

Megan Burke, Maureen Cavanaugh, KPBS

Thursday, January 14, 2016

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Erik Bruvold, the president of the National University System Institute for Policy Research and the author of the policy brief, told KPBS's Maureen Cavanaugh the study focussed on "concentrated poverty."
Bruvold said "highly" concentrated poverty is defined as, "the number of people below the poverty line who live in neighborhoods where more than 20 percent of their neighbors also live below the poverty line."
The study also looked at "extremely" concentrated poverty, in which 40 percent of residents or more within a neighborhood are below the federal poverty line.
Concentrated poverty exists within cities often considered more wealthy than San Diego's urban core, Bruvold said. The great recession did lead to an increase in poverty in these areas, but Bruvold said today's poverty rates are better explained by current income inequality throughout the county.
"This isn't necessarily a story about people being laid off," Bruvold said. "In fact, labor participation rates in these neighborhoods is about the same as it is throughout the county. So this is really a story not about unemployment, but rather low-wage work in our county."