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Old 12-24-2014, 06:42 PM
chh chh started this thread
 
Location: West Michigan
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Harper woods, Michigan, went from 85% white and 10% black in just 2000 to less then half white and 45% black in a matter of 10 years. If white flight is occurring here, is it occurring in other places in the US? Does white flight pose similar problems to communities than it did in the 50's/60's?
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Old 12-24-2014, 07:19 PM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
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Not here. Seattle is currently 70% White, 8.5% Black, 14% Asian, 7% Hispanic. In 2000 it was almost exactly the same, 70% White, 8.5 Black, 13% Asian, 5.2% Hispanic (the greatest loss but only 1.8% down). In the Detroit metro area it has more to do with the loss of jobs than race, while Seattle added 18,000 people and 15,000 new jobs in just the last year.
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Old 12-24-2014, 09:57 PM
 
Location: Thunder Bay, ON
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I would say most cities that have a quadrant-donut race distribution will have that sort of demographic change in the areas just beyond the black or hispanic area.

Like with Chicago, the SW side like South Lawndale and Brighton Park is heavily hispanic. Then due to a combination of the hispanic population of Chicagoland growing and also some hispanics moving up into the middle class, they start moving to the suburbs. Which suburbs? The ones that are newer, but still close to the original hispanic community with its businesses, old friends and family, etc, and still close to where they work. So they move to the closest suburb that's a bit further out, Cicero. And then more recently, Berwyn and Lyons.

In Detroit hispanics are moving from SW Detroit to the downriver suburbs (or even directly to the downriver suburbs if they can afford it).

Macomb county will have little appeal to hispanics since you get about as much for your money but it's far from the hispanic community and assuming they didn't change jobs when they decided to move, they probably work in the SW or W part of Metro Detroit so Macomb county would be a long commute.

The result is you get various ethnicities distributed like pie slices in a metro area. And it's not just tied to races. In Toronto, the Jewish community stretches along one corridor (Bathurst Street) from fairly close to downtown all to the outer suburbs. Meanwhile the Italians follow a different corridor towards the NW, just a few miles from the Jewish corridor, but with surprisingly little overlap.

Jews and Italians are pretty hard to tell apart just based on appearance, but the Jews in Toronto are largely of Russian background, so in addition to going to different churches, there will be various other cultural differences, different language, cuisine, sports interests, etc. The soccer sports bars in the Italian sections might not have that much interest to Toronto's Jewish community, and the synagogues in the Jewish quadrant have little interest to the Italians. Toronto's Portuguese and Latin American community, which are more recent immigrants than the Italians are mostly following in the Italians' foot steps, which makes sense since they're all Catholic, all speak Latin languages, and also have other cultural similarities.

So all these various communities will carve out enclaves and these enclaves then spread outwards into newer suburbs. And usually they don't make a huge upgrade from inner city to exurban golf community. Unless they won the lottery or something, they'll just move to a neighbourhood that's just slightly fancier, so maybe from the inner city to an older suburb with more modest homes.

In the case of Cleveland for example, you have blacks moving from Cleveland's east side (or East Cleveland) to Euclid. Or from SE Cleveland to Warrensville Heights, Bedford Heights, Maple Heights, Bedford, etc. Working class whites from Cleveland's west side will probably rather upgrade to the closest inner suburb over like Parma or Brooklyn rather than Euclid or Bedford. Suburbs like Maple Heights and Euclid were originally mostly white, but eventually those original white residents will move, whether it's because they got a job in a different part of the metro area, or in a different metro area entirely, or they want to move to a newer suburb, or they die off... So when their homes are vacated, if the majority of interested buyers are blacks with relatively few whites, it's only normal to have those suburbs transition from majority white to majority black.

So initially, I don't think there's too much racism involved. However, as these suburbs go from having "just a few blacks" to "more than just a few", it starts to get more complicated. In the past, that might have caused existing residents to move out faster, i.e. the classic idea of white flight. I think what's likely a bigger factor now is whites from outside the community who might have been considering moving there when it was predominantly white no longer considering it. They might say "hmmm there's a fair bit of minorities, maybe this area is a bit ghetto". Unfortunately there is a fairly strong correlation between places that have lots of minorities and places that are ghetto, so you can see why someone might make that conclusion. Since they're not locals, they might not be familiar with the specifics of the situation, like the fact that the minorities there are the ones that have been able to move out of the ghetto and mostly middle class, so even if the original white residents might be fine with continuing to live there because they know the minorities aren't gangsters and are middle class, that's not necessarily enough.

If either people move out in greater numbers (due to racism) or just the pool of people considering moving in there decreases, then property values decrease due to supply and demand and then you start having more low income minorities that can afford to move in there and the gangs and criminals that prey on them follow. At this point, the middle class whites (and blacks) have good reason to move out, and non-local middle class white have a legitimate reason to avoid moving in. So in these later stages, you start to see the % of whites really drop.
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Old 12-24-2014, 10:16 PM
 
Location: Thunder Bay, ON
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Detroit is one of just a few cities that doesn't really have the quadrant (pie slice) style ethnic distribution.

The other ones are mostly cities where it's more complicated than just newer and more modern suburbs with bigger and bigger homes as you go further away from downtown, like New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles, which have a more polycentric nature with more smaller older cities breaking that pattern (Newark, Elizabeth, Passaic, White Plains, Oakland, Richmond, Vallejo, San Jose, Pasadena, Long Beach, Glendale, Santa Ana, etc).

Toronto is another cases where it can be (but not always) more complicated, due to a lot of more affordable apartment buildings mixed into otherwise single family areas, plus suburbs that are increasingly more affordable than core neighbourhoods and attracting immigrants to the suburban areas (especially older ones) directly without moving into the inner city first.
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Old 12-25-2014, 07:45 AM
 
Location: Laurentia
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White flight is still going on, but has returned to historically normal levels, i.e. there always was white flight and still is white flight but there was much larger amount in the 1960's-80's.
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Old 12-25-2014, 08:41 AM
 
Location: Richmond/Philadelphia/Brooklyn
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White Flight is mostly a problem in the inner suburbs in places like Detroit, and Ferguson currently.
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Old 12-25-2014, 09:00 AM
 
Location: Where my bills arrive
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Maybe calling it Middle Class Flight is more appropriate...

Many older cities are attractive to younger people who enjoy an urban environment and older empty nesters but the middle class family leaves. Schools are often weak to problematic and families either pony up to private school or move to suburbs; they then return as empty nesters.
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Old 12-25-2014, 09:14 AM
 
Location: Caribou, Me.
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I know there are quite a few middle class people from other states who have moved/are moving to Maine because they can't take the demographic/societal changes in the towns, areas and states they are from.
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Old 12-25-2014, 10:15 AM
Status: "Summer!" (set 16 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VA Yankee View Post
Maybe calling it Middle Class Flight is more appropriate...

Many older cities are attractive to younger people who enjoy an urban environment and older empty nesters but the middle class family leaves. Schools are often weak to problematic and families either pony up to private school or move to suburbs; they then return as empty nesters.
Now, now! High school graduation is over-rated, doncha know?

Seriously, many urbanists do not want to accept that city schools are a big problem in getting hipsters to stay after they become parents of school-age children.
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Old 12-25-2014, 10:38 AM
gg
 
Location: Pittsburgh
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In Pittsburgh white flight happened years ago, but it is reversing. I think it has more to do with economies of an area in a way. Pittsburgh's economy is good. Some suburbs that are close to the city are getting hit by more crime as really bad areas are getting dispersed. I am not sure what the end result will be, but Pittsburgh in general is enjoying a good trend and prices are moving up in many areas, but poverty in the city is still really high due to certain pockets of the city that are super poor and mostly black.
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