Crime is rising in the outermost suburbs

(written by lawrence krubner, however indented passages are often quotes). You can contact lawrence at:, or follow me on Twitter.

For a few decades after WW II the middle class of America operated under the rule “The cities are dangerous, the suburbs are safe”. Apparently that began to change after 1990:

The violent crime epidemic of the 1970s and 1980s was concentrated in big cities, and the crime decline that followed was concentrated there, too. As someone who lives in a big city and remembers the 1980s, I can attest that the change has been dramatic, almost miraculous. But if you live in the suburbs, as most Americans do, the decline has been much less pronounced. And if you focus just on outer suburbs and exurbs, you’ll find that violent crime has actually risen since 1990.

Crime was still much lower in suburbs than in cities as of 2008, but the trend looked a lot more encouraging in the cities than outside. Kneebone has found similar relative shifts in poverty — suburbs are more affluent than cities, but suburban poverty rose faster during the Great Recession than urban poverty.

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