NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

America's Increasingly Integrated Suburbs

April 25, 2002

Studies have established that blacks make greater economic progress in integrated settings such as suburbs -- where schools and law enforcement, for example, are superior to such services in poor, urban areas.

So it is encouraging to note in the 2000 census that an increasing number of black families are heading for the suburbs.

  • Minorities comprised 27 percent of the suburban population in 2000 -- up from 19 percent a decade ago.
  • Integration is generally most pronounced in the South and West.
  • Of the country's 35 million blacks, 19 million now live in the South, many in integrated suburban communities -- compared to 16 million in 1990.
  • In the 1980 census, there were very high levels of segregation in places like Atlanta and Charlotte -- but today those levels are down 15 to 20 percentage points, according to census data.

All this suggests to many observers that the black middle-class has come into its own.

Source: Editorial, "The New Black Flight," Wall Street Journal, April 25, 2002.


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