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Politics

12:00pm May 13, 2010

‘White Flight’ in Reverse: Younger, Educated Whites Back Into Cities

traffic into city

Multiple reports are noting the reverse of “white flight” — that is, the fleeing of younger, educated whites back into the cities from the suburbs.

That leaves more minorities, impoverished and immigrants residing in the outskirts of the country’s largest cities, according to studies from Brookings Institution.

Brookings analyzed 2000-2008 census data, which shows 10 states — with Arizona in the lead — that are top in the nation for a cultural generation gap. The gap shows a disproportionately white senior population and children have mostly minority.

It is the first time that  a majority of all racial and ethnic groups in large metropolitan area live outside the city.

The suburbs now have the largest poor population in the country, the New York Post reported.

Experts say the racial shift is caused by large numbers of minorities leaving the city and used the number of blacks leaving New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

At the same time, younger, educated whites are moving back to the cities for shorter commutes to jobs and access to nightlife, culture and entertainment.

Cities such as Washington, D.C., Atlanta, New York, San Francisco and Boston had “white share” gains.

“A new image of urban America is in the making,” William H. Frey, a Brookings demographer and co-author of the report, told the Associated Press. “What used to be white flight to the suburbs is turning into ‘bright flight’ to cities that have become magnets for aspiring young adults who see access to knowledge-based jobs, public transportation and a new city ambiance as an an attraction.”



About the Author

Bridgette Outten
A Chicago native, Bridgette has been a journalist since she first wrote for her seventh grade newsletter. Today, that passion is just as strong. She has written for several newspapers, including the Houston Chronicle, the Houston Defender, the Marshall News-Messenger (Texas) and the Springfield News-Sun (Ohio).




 
 

 
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3 Comments


  1. Hyper-gentrification prompted by constant, unregulated house flipping, rising property taxes, obscene sale prices and an incessant appetite for HGTV living will create a scene out of the 1995 flick "Judge Dredd" if unchecked. Over time, cities could become virtual fortresses only accessible to middle class desirables, a network of massive metropolitan caste systems that can only lead to a not-so-distant and unhappy future for many. Frey is attempting to put a positive spin on this at the end of Bridgette's fine piece, which is hard considering the level of suburban poverty is outpacing urban poverty compounded by the eradication of a quarter of the Black middle class during this recession.


  2. [...] in the heart of Oklahoma City, simultaneously opting out of the American Dream and participating in reverse white flight. I left my job of six years for a great new position that allows me to work from home. We even sold [...]



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