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There is no doubt that facts of life-related to people living in the United States and the world, in general, are changing, and these changes have a significant impact on different spheres of human activity. Consequently, problems that common people face tend to change as well, and there is a lot of evidence illustrating this fact. Due to the most recent changes, people in the United States are supposed to have a fresh look at problems that have appeared with the establishment of the modern society where financial and material resources are not always distributed among citizens in accordance with the principle of justice. Speaking about the most essential problems of modern society, it is necessary to pay increased attention to poverty rates that are changing as well.
According to the most recent data presented by specialists from statistics centers, the situation with poverty in the United States has changed during the last decades. Nowadays, the number of poor people in the suburbs seems to be growing and the ones living in these areas present the majority of poor segments of the population in the United States. Even though the given statement is the fact proven by a wide range of studies and surveys, it may be extremely important to make an attempt to apply theories used by those specializing in sociology in order to better understand possible reasons of changing situation with the distribution of poor people in the country.
It is believed that the greatest number of people with low-income levels can always be found in urban areas but, as it can be seen from the information on poverty rates in the United States, the situation is changing quite rapidly and such problems as pressure for money tend to become one of the topical issues for those living in suburbs more often. In reference to factors and trends that can help us to understand the reason why such a situation occurs, it needs to be said that possible answers can be found in sociological theories. In reference to the situation when urban citizens are, on average, poorer than people in suburban areas and villages, it was always explained by the fact that people in suburbs had easier access to natural resources helping them to fill their basic needs (Bulmer, 2016). Nevertheless, a lot of practices applied by people in suburban areas have changed, and it seems that they have lost their advantage over those in urban areas. In fact, a few reasons can be distinguished that can throw light on the given problem. To begin with, it needs to be said that rates of population increase tend to be higher in suburban areas, and this is why the percentage of citizens who live below the poverty line grows among people in suburbs as well. It is also important to mention that the United States belongs to the number of countries where the majority of people live in suburban areas. More citizens tend to prefer living in the suburbs due to the fact that the number of jobs available for suburban citizens has increased recently.
Apart from that, better environmental conditions also remain one of the most significant factors encouraging urban citizens to move to the suburbs (Fleschurz & Pallagst, 2016). Furthermore, trying to retrieve the factors capable of providing a sufficient explanation to changes in the United States that led to skyrocketing growth of poverty rates in suburban areas, it is necessary to pay increased attention to the fact that growing number of people living in suburbs is strictly connected to current levels of stratification in these areas. As suburban population tends to increase due to numerous benefits that attract those who are still living in cities, the level of competition among people in suburbs tends to grow and, therefore, economic stratification in these areas is manifested in wealth disparity and growing differences in wage levels. To continue, another factor that may be regarded as one that is closely interrelated with changes in poverty rates in suburbs and urban areas appears from differences between those who are original residents of the United States and those who have immigrated to the country seeking greener pastures. As for the latter, it is known that many immigrants prefer living in suburban areas because of the numerous benefits that it involves (Tselios, Noback, Dijk, & McCann, 2015). Therefore, a substantial part of the suburban population of many countries including the United States is represented by immigrants. What is more, it often happens that immigrants do not possess specific skills in order to apply for high-paid jobs, and this is why they have to hold low-paid ones as there are no alternatives for them. Consequently, if we take into account the growing number of immigrants in the United States, it becomes clear that they have become a substantial part of suburban communities. Thus, due to their low wages, average poverty levels in suburban areas seem to grow as well.
Therefore, there is a range of structural factors that need to be taken into consideration when there is a need to analyze changes in poverty rates in the United States. These factors can be applied both to the population in general and to certain groups of the population. In order to understand the current trends related to poverty in suburbs and urban areas, it is necessary to search for the information that has a strong link with such factor as race (or the relationship among different races) as it is known that African-American people and the ones belonging to other racial minorities are likely to earn less money than white people in the United States. Apart from that, it is essential to understand if there are social classes, which differences exist between these classes, and what is the share of each class in urban and suburban areas in the country. To some extent, it may be important to take into account the number of women and men in the areas studied because it often happens that the former are paid less than the latter, and the presence of a great number of women (especially those belonging to ethnic minorities) in certain areas can also have a significant impact on poverty rates. Besides, another factor that needs to be considered in order to understand the eye of the given problem is the inequality level. To measure this level, it may be important to use current wage level statistics.
In the end, the situation with changing tendencies related to poverty rates in the United States is connected to a range of facts that include rapid population increase in suburban areas, a growing number of migrants acting as low-waged workers, and increasing competition levels causing wage gaps. Therefore, a great number of structural factors such as inequality, gender, and race can be considered to understand the nature of the problem discussed in the given paper.
Bulmer, M. (2016). Working-class images of society (Routledge Revivals). New York, NY: Routledge.
Fleschurz, R., & Pallagst, K. (2016). Book review: Design after decline: How America rebuilds shrinking cities. Journal of Planning Education and Research, 36(1), 126-127.
Tselios, V., Noback, I., Dijk, J., & McCann, P. (2015). Integration of immigrants, bridging social capital, ethnicity, and locality. Journal of Regional Science, 55(3), 416-441.