Saturday, August 22, 2015

Chicago's Disappearing White Working Class

In Chicago it is possible to identify neighborhoods where low-income Latinos live and neighborhoods where low-income African-Americans live. However it isn't as easy to pinpoint neighborhoods with a high concentration of the white working class.

Chicago's WBEZ91.5 has mapped data from the last four U.S. censuses to explore the phenomenon of the disappearing white working class in the city. For example in 1980 the census shows two neighboring census tracts with concentrated white poverty. This neighborhood contained a strip of West Madison, known as Skid Row, which was home to many single-room occupancy hotels. By 1990 much of this area had been redeveloped and the tracts no longer had such a high concentration of the white working class.

The Where are Chicago's poor white neighborhoods? map allows you to view the census tracts with a high concentration of Latinos, African-Americans and Whites for the 2010, 2000, 1990 and 1980 censuses. The 2010 map shows that while there are still a number of census tracts with concentrated Latino and African-American poverty there are no tracts left with concentrated White poverty.

So where have Chicago's white working class gone? In an accompanying article WBEZ91.5 poses this question to a number of experts and gives their answers.

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