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Poor Among Us

A list we don't want to be on: Austin's poverty rate is soaring

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Downtown Austin skyline in the evening across from Lady Bird Lake
Austin-Round Rock has the No. 8 highest poverty rate in the country. Photo by Kumar Appaiah with Flickr

As Austin continues to grow in size, so too does the number of people living in poverty.

Analyzing the 2010 U.S. Census, a 2014 report from the Brookings Institute, and even a piece from KUT, Business Insider determined that the Austin-Round Rock area tied with Indianapolis for the No. 8 fastest-growing poverty rate in the country. As of 2012, more than 230,000 locals were considered living in poverty, a dramatic increase from 120,000 people only a decade prior.

Though college towns can often have skewed poverty rates, Austin's ranking isn't due to the large concentration of students. Instead, the Austin area has seen an 82 percent growth in the local poor population concentrated mainly in the suburbs, giving it the second highest increase of suburban poverty in the country. This is a trend echoed throughout the country, as outskirts of major U.S. cities witness dramatic increases in poverty due in part to more and more people being displaced from urban cores.

The top three cities with the greatest increase in poverty rates include Cape Coral, Florida (No. 1); Boise, Idaho (No. 2); and Charlotte, North Carolina and Raleigh, North Carolina (tied for No. 3).

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