Over the last decade something interesting has happened to the poverty distribution in America.  It's spreading into the suburbs at a faster rate than its growth in cities.  This information from the Brookings Institute newest book, "Confronting  Suburban Poverty in America."  Here's the most interesting finding of the book:

"For the first time, the number of poor people in major metropolitan suburbs surpassed the number in cities, making suburbia home to the largest and fastest growing poor population in the country."

An article on BusinessInsider.com offers some background into this story and some reasons as to why it's happening.  These figures are according to the U.S. census.

Overall population change 2000 - 2010:  city:  +4.5%  suburbs:  +14%

Immigration (foreign born, suburban poor): 2000 20.6%  2010 20.3%

Suburban Unemployed (Dec. 2007 - Dec. 2010 from the Bureau of Labor Statistics): 2007: 3,116,000      2010: 6,193,000

Low-income students (2005-2009; Department of Education) city: 8.4% increase; Suburbs: 21.9%  increase

All in all, the number of poor in the suburbs rose 64% between 2000 and 2011 to over 16,000,000.  During this same time the poor in cities grew by just 29% to 13,300,000.

The economy is the major reason for this growth, but there is at least one other factor at play.  Some cities over the last 15 years have eliminated some subsidized housing, with the result being that some poor had to move to the suburbs.  Many of these people are working poor and in some cases were chased away by some of the bad neighborhoods that more affluent people were chased away from.

What this tells you is that the world and the conditions in which we do business are constantly changing.  It's very important to always keep one eye on the trends that affect your clientele.