Suburbs take hit as US poverty climbs in downturn Suburbs take hit as US poverty climbs in downturn

HOPE YEN- Associated Press Writer - 10/7/2010 5:15:00 AM

WASHINGTON- Battered by the downturn, America's suburbs are bearing the brunt of poverty among those of working age that has climbed to its highest level in almost a half century, creating strains on dwindling safety-net programs focusing mostly on the inner-city poor.

A pair of analyses by the nonprofit Brookings Institution paint a bleak economic picture for the 100 largest metropolitan areas over the past decade and in the coming years, when the U.S. poverty rate is projected to edge toward 15 percent.

They also come weeks before the Nov. 2 congressional elections in which voters anxious over the slumping economy will decide whether to keep Democrats in power. Made up of both cities and surrounding suburbs, the large metro areas represent two-thirds of the U.S. population and are home to key battlegrounds that helped lift Democrat Barack Obama to victory in 2008. Continued: