Black Populations Decline in Major Cities

It's called the effects of gentrification.

Downtown Atlanta
Downtown Atlanta

USA Today is reporting that the black population is declining in a number of major cities, including Chicago; Oakland, Calif.; Atlanta; Cleveland; and St. Louis, Mo., according to 2010 census data. Twenty of 25 cities that have populations of at least 250,000 people and black populations of 20 percent either lost more blacks or gained fewer in the last decade. This is caused by three major factors:

1. Middle-class and upper-class blacks heading to the suburbs

2. Northern blacks heading to thriving centers in the South

3. Aging of the African-American population

Blacks living in the city limits of Atlanta declined from 61 percent to 53 percent, while the number of blacks living in metropolitan Atlanta increased to 40 percent, suggesting that blacks are moving to suburban areas. Of the 200,000 people that Chicago lost, 180,000 were black. The article attributes this factor to young African Americans leaving for warmer climates in the South and the Sunbelt.

They might also consider that blacks are being forced to leave cities for the suburbs because of the rising cost of living in cities, not to mention the effects of gentrification. D.C. is a prime example, with scores of blacks having to move to Prince Georges County and surrounding areas because of the increasingly high cost of living in a city that is home to young whites with high-paying, high-skilled jobs.

The influx of upper-class whites to “black” cities is also causing middle-class blacks to move to the suburbs so that they can maintain a decent quality of life. Poor blacks have to move because they are pushed out, often for the same reasons. It’s not rocket science — it’s real life.

Read more at USA Today.

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