Report: Number and rate of Midwest poor is growing


Poverty in America appears to be growing fastest in suburban areas, especially in the Midwest.

A report released Wednesday by the Brookings Institution shows the country's suburban poor population grew by 2.5 million between 2000 and 2008. Lansing area human service professionals offer more evidence that poverty is growing outside of metro areas. Judy Putnam is a spokeswoman for the Michigan League for Human Services in Lansing. She cites a recent league study.

"Eaton and Clinton counties were among the top 10 counties where food assistance cases had jumped...36% in Eaton and Clinton counties compared with 25% statewide," she explains.

The Brookings study showed Grand Rapids logged the fastest growing poverty rate of any city and suburban area in the country. The report says officials should consider regional approaches to services as poverty patterns shift.