Racial and ethnic segregation in U.S. metropolitan areas contributes to the existence of neighborhood poverty, with segregation typically conceptualized as occurring between central city and suburban neighborhoods due to the racially exclusive nature of suburbanization through much of the twentieth century. However, increasing suburbanization across race, ethnicity and socioeconomic status since around 1970 has complicated the spatial structure of residential inequalities among metropolitan areas. In this study, I assess how patterns of racial and ethnic inequality in exposure to neighborhood poverty changed across urban and suburban locations since 1980, and I investigate how different dimensions of segregation by race and ethnicity correspond to worsened racial and ethnic inequality in exposure to disadvantaged neighborhoods in urban as well as suburban areas. To study differences between suburbs, I contribute a novel approach for measuring suburban neighborhoods based on their density, housing stock age and overall degree of development. Results demonstrate how the conventional city-suburb dichotomy masks substantial differences between suburbs in (a) Black, Latino and White exposure to neighborhood disadvantage and (b) the degree to which patterns of segregation by race and ethnicity exacerbate Black–White and Latino–White inequalities in exposure to suburban neighborhood disadvantage. Black–White segregation exacerbates Black exposure to neighborhood poverty across space, especially in cities and older suburbs, while Latino–White segregation worsens Latino exposure to poor neighborhoods in cities as well as farther-flung rural and exurban areas.