Suburban life isn't as financially secure as it used to be:
Even though the population in North Carolina’s suburbs declined by 2 percent from 2000 to 2006-2010, the number of people who were poor in the suburbs grew by 40 percent. The poor population grew 13 times more in the suburbs than in urban areas. By 2006-10, the poverty rate in the suburbs was 13.2 percent.
In theory, those who live in the suburbs could buffer their job losses by borrowing against their homes or trading down and using the surplus to weather the economy. But with the housing market in the toilet, that theory only works on paper.
Research shows many suburban areas were unprepared to address the rising demand for services during the Great Recession and the feeble recovery. In 2010, a national survey found that of those suburban non-profits that reported a jump in demand for services, the average increase was 30 percent. Also, nearly 3 in 4 of the suburban non-profits surveyed reported that they provided help to first-time clients.
Compounding the pressure from this growing need, suburban service providers also face budget difficulties due to decreases in public and philanthropic funding.
There's no doubt this economic situation has flipped many preconceived notions on their heads. But the massive loss of wealth from the financial sector was both predictable and avoidable, and (as far as I'm concerned) we haven't learned a single lesson from that debacle.