Monday, April 29, 2019

Mapping White Return in the USA

The New York Times has explored census tracts across the United States and discovered a trend of white residents moving into traditional nonwhite neighborhoods. In The Neighborhood Is Mostly Black. The Home Buyers Are Mostly White the NYT maps out the neighborhoods where the white population has grown.

The NYT article includes a series of small maps showing how city centers are increasingly attracting new white residents, while traditional white dominated suburbs are becoming more diverse. Because of the history of redlining and years of under-funding in the USA inner-city neighborhoods are relatively cheap. In most other countries around the world city neighborhoods so close to downtown are among the most expensive places to live. It appears that many white Americans have woken up to the value of inner-city living. As with most gentrification this often comes at the expense of the traditional residents of these neighborhoods.

An interactive map is also included in the article which shows every census tract in the USA that has grown more diverse since 2000 (about one in three). The yellow census tracts on the map have seen a growth in the percentage of white residents. The blue census tracts have become more diverse. If you hover over the individual tracts you can view the mean income of all residents and the mean income of the new buyers in the area. In the blue census tracts the new non-white residents tend to have similar incomes to the older residents of the tracts. In the yellow census tracts the new white residents tend to have much larger incomes than the non-new homeowners.

The University of Minnesota recently released an interactive map which also looks at neighborhood change. American Neighborhood Change in the 21st Century: Gentrification and Decline visualizes which neighborhoods in the U.S. have seen economic decline and which have seen economic growth. The University of Minnesota study reveals that non-white Americans are far more likely to live in economically declining areas than white Americans. In 2016 only 9% of black Americans lived in economically expanding areas.

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