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Old 01-28-2015, 09:48 PM
 
Location: Thunder Bay, ON
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drive carephilly View Post
I think what you guys are doing is basically combing every census tract looking for the exceptions that prove the rule.
I've mostly only looked at Detroit, so I don't know how common what I've described was in other cities. But for NW Detroit, we're talking about basically the biggest part of one of the biggest cities of the time. And although those census tracts don't include all of NW Detroit, I would contend that most of NW Detroit changed at this rate.

E/NE Detroit changed a little slower, but still pretty fast. It could be interesting to see how NW Detroit compares to Chicago's south and west sides or the north side of St Louis, or NE and SE Cleveland, or maybe parts of Baltimore. Those are the ones I'd expect to have the worst white flight since the black areas mostly expanded in 1 direction, and there were only 1-2 black areas per city. New York on the other hand had 4-5 major black areas in the metro and I think they were expanding in several directions, so it might have been less intense.

If the white population decreases by 5-10% in a decade, IMO that's no big deal, since the minority share is increasing in basically every metro area. If it decreases by 30-40% (and the neighbourhood isn't losing population) that suggests either some minority group favours moving into that area, or whites are avoiding moving into it, but maybe still not quite 60s/70s Detroit style white flight.
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Old 01-29-2015, 01:49 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by memph View Post
It the areas I showed on the maps the overall population wasn't really shrinking. It was basically just a case of the black population was exploding as the white population was collapsing.

Here's the areas I showed as experiencing intense white flight in the 60s in NW Detroit.

1960 Population
White: 87,976 (97.6%)
Black: 1,978 (2.2%)
Other: 181 (0.2%)
Total: 90,135

1970 Population
White: 18,453 (19.5%)
Black: 75,523 (80.0%)
Other: 481 (0.5%)
Total: 94,457
Avg Family Income: $75,326
Avg Income of 14+ Population: $29,267

So even the overall population grew a little.
I know little about Detroit and less about this neighborhood but those numbers are pretty dramatic. But I think that this sort of thing, even if every Detroit neighborhood posted similar numbers, is that it proves that there is no one size fits all approach to describing demographic change in US cities because there are just too many variables . . . and while white "flight" might be an apt description of what happened in this particular neighborhood that when a similar thing happens in another neighborhood over a 30 or 40 year period (as is more common) "flight" is more of a political statement than a statement of fact.

Quote:
1970 incomes are adjusted to 2013 for inflation. So the 1970 residents weren't exactly the "hood crowd", in fact they might have even been a bit wealthier than the 1960 white residents. $8000 in 1960 was worth about the same as $10000 in 1970. In 1960, 43% of families had incomes above $8000, compared to 60% of families with incomes over $10000 in 1970.

Additional stats

1960
Over 25 with 4 years of high school education: 47.1%
Over 25 with some college education: 20.3%
Over 25 with 4+ years of college education: 9.7%
Unemployment Rate: 4.9%
Home owners: 73.5%
Vacant housing: 3.1%


1970
Over 25 with 4 years of high school education: 51.7%
Over 25 with some college education: 19.0%
Over 25 with 4+ years of college education: 9.1%
Unemployment rate: 6.3%
Families below poverty level: 7.7%
Home owners: 74.2%
Vacant housing: 4.0%

The 1970 stats are about the same as the averages for the Tri-County area. To me, it seems like a case of middle class whites fleeing middle class blacks...

There may have been cases of middle class whites fleeing lower class blacks, but it seems like in Detroit they were fleeing middle class blacks too, and very rapidly.
I think what you might be missing here, since you're looking at one section of Detroit over a one decade period, is the big picture.

The white population of Detroit plateaued in 1930 then peaked in 1950 and declined at a fairly even rate for the next 30 years. The white population of Wayne County peaked in 1960 and has declined on a fairly predictable slope since then. The white population of Metro Detroit peaked in 1970 and has been in decline (albeit bumpily) since then.

When I look at the maps of Detroit from decade to decade I see a relatively poor black population moving to Detroit for better pay and working conditions and settling in the oldest parts of the city (read: the cheapest) and then growing in concentric rings around that core. By 1960 the white population of the city was more or less on the fringes (where the newer housing was) and already a decade into moving to the suburbs en masse. A growing black middle class wants better housing so they start looking for it in white neighborhoods. An increasingly affluent white middle class with growing baby boomer families wants new and bigger housing so they start looking for it in the suburbs.

Obviously, this is Detroit, so industry plays a huge roll in where people are moving but you're looking at metropolitan wide decline in the white population that began in the late 1960s or early 1970s and hasn't stopped since. That's some pretty serious stuff that deserved and deserves a tougher look.


Detroit


Wayne County


Detroit Metro

Last edited by drive carephilly; 01-29-2015 at 02:05 AM..
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Old 01-29-2015, 02:01 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by memph View Post
If the white population decreases by 5-10% in a decade, IMO that's no big deal, since the minority share is increasing in basically every metro area. If it decreases by 30-40% (and the neighbourhood isn't losing population) that suggests either some minority group favours moving into that area, or whites are avoiding moving into it, but maybe still not quite 60s/70s Detroit style white flight.
I think the % decrease is arbitrary.

Most of the time the neighborhood is losing population so if the population loss is consistent from decade to decade then it becomes an increasingly larger % of the population loss even if that population loss is just from shrinking household size and/or mortality.
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Old 01-29-2015, 09:18 PM
 
Location: Thunder Bay, ON
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drive carephilly View Post
I think the % decrease is arbitrary.

Most of the time the neighborhood is losing population so if the population loss is consistent from decade to decade then it becomes an increasingly larger % of the population loss even if that population loss is just from shrinking household size and/or mortality.
Well I meant decreasing by those percentages without a decrease in overall population.

And for Detroit, yes the white population was decreasing in population share for a while, and in total population from 1970 on, but it still wasn't decreasing that fast.

Metro Detroit was

1960: 85.56% white
1970: 82.38% white
1980: 77.57% white
1990: 75.40% white
2000: 71.40% white
2010: 70.10% white

For the white population share to decrease by 2-5 percentage points per decade is no big deal, plenty of metro areas are doing that today, especially if you include Hispanics as non-white (for the Detroit numbers, I had them as white).

For example, Denver, Milwaukee, Nashville, Oklahoma City, Minneapolis, Miami, Austin, San Diego and probably many others saw their white population shares drop by 4-6 percentage points from 2000 to 2010. Some cities saw even bigger drops

Las Vegas: 10.5 percentage points
Houston: 7.6 percentage points
Dallas-Fort Worth: 7.5 percentage points
Phoenix: 6.2 percentage points

However, despite this, I don't think there's any city where 30+ percentage point decreases in white population is the norm for census tracts into which the minority enclaves are expanding, let alone 60+ percentage point decreases.

In cities like Toronto, a lot of the minority influx is happening in new housing in the periphery (although technically it's often more established minorities moving there and having new immigrants move into their old homes). On a per sf basis, housing on the periphery is among the least expensive. It's also about availability though, like some of the 50s-70s neighbourhoods in the suburb of Brampton are just as affordable as the new ones, but there's only going to be so many homes on the market in established neighbourhoods so they don't change that fast (and you'll have some whites buying homes in these areas too). However in the new neighbourhoods you'll have tens of thousands of homes being built and they're all going to be on the market once they're completed.

Cities like Las Vegas and Houston are more like Detroit was in that the cost of housing per sf is lower in older neighbourhoods. Still though, the areas the ethnic enclaves are expanding into are mostly changing by 15-30 percentage points per decade.


BTW I've started to look at Chicago and it's even crazier than Detroit. There seem to be numerous neighbourhoods like around South Englewood, Chatham and Auburn-Gresham where they went from 99% (if not 100%) white in 1960 to 97-98% black in 1970.

It seems like Philadelphia changed more gradually, but there are other cities that had neighbourhoods that changed quite fast, like Dallas, Los Angeles and Atlanta.

The sort of flight that happened in parts of Detroit or Chicago, where you get a panicked selling/moving frenzy from whites when a black family moves onto their street doesn't seem to be happening any more. Nowadays neighbourhoods change more gradually.
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Old 01-30-2015, 12:55 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by memph View Post
The sort of flight that happened in parts of Detroit or Chicago, where you get a panicked selling/moving frenzy from whites when a black family moves onto their street doesn't seem to be happening any more. Nowadays neighbourhoods change more gradually.
Chicago and Detroit were quick compared to Philly for a couple of reasons outside of just blockbusting/panicked selling:

1) the change was much more rapid. From 1940-1960, the AA population of cities like Philly and NYC roughly doubled. In Chicago and Detroit they roughly tripled, owing to the fact that CHI and DET were much more industrial at this point in time than NYC and PHI and therefore contained a greater proportion of job opportunities for those migrating.
2) Post war "revitalization". Black neighborhoods might not have been wealthy, but they had functioning neighborhood economies. Tear out neighborhoods for freeways and residents need to go somewhere. Tear out neighborhoods and replace them with projects and residents need to go somewhere at least in the interim. Both occurred with more intrusion in DET and CHI and they destroyed the economic balance of these neighborhoods, sending communities into freefall. The residents displaced (and those extra AAs from the tripling rather than doubling of the population over those 20 years) ended up in adjacent neighborhoods further west and south very quickly.

NYC is a bit different as well just because it is such a pain to get into and out of the city that people couldn't suburbanize as easily. It's difficult to prove this, but my feeling is that realty practices (while ridiculously offensive and prejudicial) had less to do with the difference between cities like PHI and CHI than basic economics and some very poorly executed revitalization and transportation projects.
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Old 01-30-2015, 01:49 AM
 
2,388 posts, read 2,954,341 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by memph View Post
Well I meant decreasing by those percentages without a decrease in overall population.

And for Detroit, yes the white population was decreasing in population share for a while, and in total population from 1970 on, but it still wasn't decreasing that fast.

Metro Detroit was

1960: 85.56% white
1970: 82.38% white
1980: 77.57% white
1990: 75.40% white
2000: 71.40% white
2010: 70.10% white

For the white population share to decrease by 2-5 percentage points per decade is no big deal, plenty of metro areas are doing that today, especially if you include Hispanics as non-white (for the Detroit numbers, I had them as white).
I think you're completely missing my point and I'm not sure how else to explain it so maybe someone else can help . . .

If you're trying to prove that white flight happened then it doesn't matter what the % decrease was because it doesn't tell us anything about the number of white people there. All it tells us is that the black population was growing faster than the white population. "Why" is the question.

What I think you're also missing is that white people weren't just leaving Detroit or Wayne County - they were leaving the entire metro. You can't point to 95% white, suburban Wayne County in 1970, and see 500,000 white people disappear and blame it on the arrival of 30,000 black people without looking like you're really stretching for the Spike Lee award. (Don't take my sense of humor the wrong way, i'm half joking).

White people have been leaving Detroit, and Wayne County, and suburban Detroit for decades and I'd venture to guess that in 97% of the cases it has absolutely nothing to do with black people but rather it has to do with being in a part of the country where the only thing worse than the weather is the economy.

Quote:
For example, Denver, Milwaukee, Nashville, Oklahoma City, Minneapolis, Miami, Austin, San Diego and probably many others saw their white population shares drop by 4-6 percentage points from 2000 to 2010. Some cities saw even bigger drops

Las Vegas: 10.5 percentage points
Houston: 7.6 percentage points
Dallas-Fort Worth: 7.5 percentage points
Phoenix: 6.2 percentage points
Again, this is completely arbitrary. There aren't infinite amounts of white people that you can just theoretically spread around evenly so that their % of the population stays the same. It's like you're saying "white people can't move to Florida because they have to stay in Chicago and have 4 or 5 kids to prove they're not racist."

All signs point to a white demographic that isn't growing at all and stands to shrink a bit in the next two decades. Nearly all US population growth in the last decade has been from Asian and Latino immigration and a relatively high Latino birth rate. Unless you're trying to say that white people are so racist that they've stopped being born and started dying faster just so they don't have to be around black people then you'll have to get used to the fact that they're going to shrink as a % of the population virtually everywhere. Take your Vegas example for instance, the non-hispanic white population is on the rise there. One of only a handful of places where that's happening. It only dropped as a percentage because the Latino population is exploding. Calling that white flight or comparing it to Detroit doesn't even make any sense.


Quote:
The sort of flight that happened in parts of Detroit or Chicago, where you get a panicked selling/moving frenzy from whites when a black family moves onto their street doesn't seem to be happening any more. Nowadays neighbourhoods change more gradually.
Again, unless you can come with some real numbers (not %) on the neighborhood that show a stable or growing white population then, all of the sudden, "ahhhh, black people!" and all the white households scatter like roaches then you're just throwing numbers on the screen to see what sticks. If you're trying to prove white flight on a scale of anything beyond a handful of census tracts over a one decade period then you need to show how many people were coming and going, where they were coming from or going to, who was renting and who was buying and for how much, what the household size was, what the household incomes were, what the age of the houses/housing conditions were then show that all over a few decades, and show what else was happening at the time (eg, Depression, War, Riots, blockbusting, housing discrimination, rising crime, etc)

because otherwise you're just saying "they were white and they moved so they must've been racist!" which, if you don't get the irony in that then . . . abandon hope all ye who enter here.

Last edited by drive carephilly; 01-30-2015 at 02:10 AM..
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Old 01-30-2015, 02:04 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by memph View Post
I've mostly only looked at Detroit, so I don't know how common what I've described was in other cities. But for NW Detroit, we're talking about basically the biggest part of one of the biggest cities of the time. And although those census tracts don't include all of NW Detroit, I would contend that most of NW Detroit changed at this rate.

E/NE Detroit changed a little slower, but still pretty fast. It could be interesting to see how NW Detroit compares to Chicago's south and west sides or the north side of St Louis, or NE and SE Cleveland, or maybe parts of Baltimore. Those are the ones I'd expect to have the worst white flight since the black areas mostly expanded in 1 direction, and there were only 1-2 black areas per city. New York on the other hand had 4-5 major black areas in the metro and I think they were expanding in several directions, so it might have been less intense.

If the white population decreases by 5-10% in a decade, IMO that's no big deal, since the minority share is increasing in basically every metro area. If it decreases by 30-40% (and the neighbourhood isn't losing population) that suggests either some minority group favours moving into that area, or whites are avoiding moving into it, but maybe still not quite 60s/70s Detroit style white flight.

NW Detroit was an interesting place to live in the early '70s. Negative gentrification on steroids.
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Old 01-30-2015, 02:43 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chicago76 View Post
Chicago and Detroit were quick compared to Philly for a couple of reasons outside of just blockbusting/panicked selling:

1) the change was much more rapid. From 1940-1960, the AA population of cities like Philly and NYC roughly doubled. In Chicago and Detroit they roughly tripled, owing to the fact that CHI and DET were much more industrial at this point in time than NYC and PHI and therefore contained a greater proportion of job opportunities for those migrating.
2) Post war "revitalization". Black neighborhoods might not have been wealthy, but they had functioning neighborhood economies. Tear out neighborhoods for freeways and residents need to go somewhere. Tear out neighborhoods and replace them with projects and residents need to go somewhere at least in the interim. Both occurred with more intrusion in DET and CHI and they destroyed the economic balance of these neighborhoods, sending communities into freefall. The residents displaced (and those extra AAs from the tripling rather than doubling of the population over those 20 years) ended up in adjacent neighborhoods further west and south very quickly.

NYC is a bit different as well just because it is such a pain to get into and out of the city that people couldn't suburbanize as easily. It's difficult to prove this, but my feeling is that realty practices (while ridiculously offensive and prejudicial) had less to do with the difference between cities like PHI and CHI than basic economics and some very poorly executed revitalization and transportation projects.
Good points.

Detroit lost its white majority around 1970 but that didn't happen in Philly until the 1990s. Even still the black population of Philly is around 42% while the white population is around 37%. Obviously those % represent shrinking shares of both group because the city had been losing population for around 50 years.
This is hard to prove but, while the black population of Philly has stabilized, I suspect that the African-American population of Philly has actually been shrinking slightly because there's been a steady stream of African and Caribbean immigration into the city for +20 years . . . which would mean that if the black population is staying roughly the same then someone must be leaving the city.

I don't see much panicked selling in Philly nor have I seen much of it in NYC - maybe a few places in West/Southwest Philly you could say this about but then that mostly happened in the late 60s/early 70s when crime was exploding and these were mostly middle class black families buying houses from middle class or blue collar white families and it could have very well been more of a "we were thinking about this anyway, here are some buyers, lets take the money and run" kind of thing. Especially when you're talking about Detroit in 1967. A lot of cities had riots - none but Detroit had gun battles with federal troops.

White people had already been leaving Detroit in big numbers for 20 years before the riot happened so I'm not pointing to that as some watershed moment. But combine the exodus with the riots and with a 250% increase in crime and a neighborhood could have very well turned over in 3 years - not 10 . . . but again this one area doesn't explain the general exodus from all parts of the city.

There are just too many neighborhoods in other cities where white people started leaving in the 1930s and 1940s and too many neighborhoods that changed slowly over a 20, 30, even 40 year period to be able to point to a few census tracts, see a quick turnover in the 1960s and say "see, I told you" without even trying to see if there was anything else going on at the time.
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Old 01-30-2015, 09:44 PM
 
Location: Thunder Bay, ON
2,610 posts, read 3,760,961 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drive carephilly View Post
I think you're completely missing my point and I'm not sure how else to explain it so maybe someone else can help . . .

If you're trying to prove that white flight happened then it doesn't matter what the % decrease was because it doesn't tell us anything about the number of white people there. All it tells us is that the black population was growing faster than the white population. "Why" is the question.

What I think you're also missing is that white people weren't just leaving Detroit or Wayne County - they were leaving the entire metro. You can't point to 95% white, suburban Wayne County in 1970, and see 500,000 white people disappear and blame it on the arrival of 30,000 black people without looking like you're really stretching for the Spike Lee award. (Don't take my sense of humor the wrong way, i'm half joking).

White people have been leaving Detroit, and Wayne County, and suburban Detroit for decades and I'd venture to guess that in 97% of the cases it has absolutely nothing to do with black people but rather it has to do with being in a part of the country where the only thing worse than the weather is the economy.



Again, this is completely arbitrary. There aren't infinite amounts of white people that you can just theoretically spread around evenly so that their % of the population stays the same. It's like you're saying "white people can't move to Florida because they have to stay in Chicago and have 4 or 5 kids to prove they're not racist."

All signs point to a white demographic that isn't growing at all and stands to shrink a bit in the next two decades. Nearly all US population growth in the last decade has been from Asian and Latino immigration and a relatively high Latino birth rate. Unless you're trying to say that white people are so racist that they've stopped being born and started dying faster just so they don't have to be around black people then you'll have to get used to the fact that they're going to shrink as a % of the population virtually everywhere. Take your Vegas example for instance, the non-hispanic white population is on the rise there. One of only a handful of places where that's happening. It only dropped as a percentage because the Latino population is exploding. Calling that white flight or comparing it to Detroit doesn't even make any sense.




Again, unless you can come with some real numbers (not %) on the neighborhood that show a stable or growing white population then, all of the sudden, "ahhhh, black people!" and all the white households scatter like roaches then you're just throwing numbers on the screen to see what sticks. If you're trying to prove white flight on a scale of anything beyond a handful of census tracts over a one decade period then you need to show how many people were coming and going, where they were coming from or going to, who was renting and who was buying and for how much, what the household size was, what the household incomes were, what the age of the houses/housing conditions were then show that all over a few decades, and show what else was happening at the time (eg, Depression, War, Riots, blockbusting, housing discrimination, rising crime, etc)

because otherwise you're just saying "they were white and they moved so they must've been racist!" which, if you don't get the irony in that then . . . abandon hope all ye who enter here.
I think you're missing my point...

What I'm saying is that the stagnant and later decreasing white population of metro Detroit would explain a moderate decreasing in the white population. Assuming blacks and whites have the same socio-economic characteristics and there's no racism, you might have expected the average metro Detroit neighbourhood to go from 85% white to 82% white or something like that. Considering the movement/displacement of blacks out of black ghettos, maybe 85% white to 75-80% white. And maybe even dropping to 70-75% white would not be too unusual just due to random variability.

The fact that you had many neighbourhoods go from 95%+ white to less than 20% white in a decade however, means you have other stuff going on. What that "other stuff" might be is what we're trying to find out, but I have a hard time believing anything could change so fast without having an element of racism in the mix.

Las Vegas, Houston, Dallas and Phoenix were brought up as proof that you can have a very fast increase in a minority group (in total population and share of the metro total) without having neighbourhoods change so fast. If you look at census tracts in these cities, I don't think you'll be able to find any that went from 80% non-hispanic white to 20% non-hispanic white as a result of a reduction in the white population and increase in minority (in these cities, it's mostly Hispanic) population. It seems like the Hispanic enclaves of these cities mostly expanded through 15-30 percentage point increases per decade in the Hispanic population share. But in Chicago the black ghettos expanded through 70-98 percentage point increases per decade, so that's a completely different story.

The black population in most cities isn't growing that fast anymore, although I think it's still growing pretty fast in Atlanta and DC (and maybe MPLS?) and again, the neighbourhoods there are not changing nearly as fast.

So what I'm suggesting is that the reason for the difference between LA/Houston/Dallas/Phoenix in 1980-2010 and Detroit/Chicago in 1940-1980 is that those non-Hispanic whites of those cities are/were less racist towards Hispanics in 1980-2010 than Detroit/Chicago whites were towards blacks in 1940-1980.

There are other possible explanations:
-blacks in 1940-1980 were more criminal than Hispanics in 1980-2010 (if that's even true, I'm not sure it is)
-blacks in 1940-1980 were relatively poorer than Hispanics in 1980-2010 (pretty sure they were/are both poorer than non-Hispanic whites by a comparable margin)
-differences in patterns of housing stock and neighbourhood desirability unrelated to demographics and social statistics (I don't really think so)
-greater exodus of blacks from pre-existing ghettos than Hispanics from pre-existing ghettos (this is true, but not enough to account for the differences)

BTW the income explanation/hypothesis is pretty weak imo. If a neighbourhood is relatively desirable, the housing will be expensive and poor blacks aren't going to be able to afford moving in. Rather, it's going to be middle class blacks moving in, as seen with the example I gave of NW Detroit. Maybe if you trigger a panic selling by whites, then housing prices start to drop, and then maybe drop further as lower class blacks start moving in and middle class blacks start thinking of moving away.

As for the differences in housing stock patterns and neighbourhood desirability... honestly a lot of these neighbourhoods don't look like they were so bad. They're a far cry from the (mostly non-black) slums of 100 years before or even many of the black ghettos established a few decades before. Also I have a hard time believing they were desirable enough to be 100% white on decade and became so much less desirable and so much more outdated just a decade later. The other thing is that many similar looking neighbourhoods that were not adjacent to black ghettos experienced relatively little change in ethnic composition.
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Old 01-30-2015, 10:03 PM
 
Location: Thunder Bay, ON
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BTW if it was because of racism, that still doesn't mean the racism has to be extreme from everyone.

Ex, lets say the breakdown of the white population is as follows

20% are extremely racist and unwilling to live in a community with even a single black person
20% are very racist and unwilling to live in a community with a noticeable amount of blacks
20% are moderately racist and unwilling to live in a community with more than 30% blacks
20% are slightly racist and unwilling to live in a community with a majority of blacks
20% are not racist and don't even have a problem living in a community where everyone else is black

Here's what might happen according to tipping theory.
1. A black person moves in. The 20% extremely racist people move out.
2. This opens up housing that allows more blacks to move in. Now there's enough that the very racist people also move out.
3. More housing is opened up, more blacks move in...
ETC
Now the neighbourhood is 80% black, 20% white, a significant chunk of the white population would be unwilling to live in a neighbourhood with those demographics regardless of crime and such, and with this drop in demand, housing prices drop becoming more affordable to the lower classes which start to move in and issues with schools, crime, bad neighbours, etc start to arise (technically, the drop in housing prices and their consequences might have started even earlier).

As a result, it becomes less desirable to middle class blacks and middle class non-racist whites.

Housing prices drop more, more lower class people move in, more social problems, and you're in a continuing cycle of decline.


IMO the data is pretty consistent with this theory. Differences between one city and the other are likely due to things like how fast the black population of the metro area was changing. And because (IMO) people are less racist today, neighbourhoods change more slowly, IMO there's still some prejudices at play, but they're more minor.
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