Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Many Affluent African Americans Stay in Less Affluent Neighborhoods

Yesterday, a number of news outlets reported on the following recent Census finding:

Black and Hispanic Americans are more likely to live in neighborhoods with fewer important resources, like good schools, parks, and clean air, than whites are. And the difference in neighborhood quality can’t be explained by differences in household income, says a new analysis of 2010 census data from all US metropolitan regions. In fact, the average white household that earns less than $40,000 is in a more affluent, resource-rich neighborhood than a black or Hispanic household that earns more than $75,000

That's really something to consider. The article notes that African Americans have the "highest" exposure to poverty among various racial and ethnic groups.

There's no agreement yet on why black people who can afford to move to more "resource-rich" neighborhoods do not do so.

According to some perspectives, they have no choice. The ongoing prevalence or legacies of housing discrimination and lack of information about suitable neighborhoods prevent African Americans from living in more affluent environments even when financial resources are not the problem.

On the other hand, large numbers of African Americans could be deciding to stay in particular neighborhoods because of their shared values, histories, and cultural practices with residents that could transcend household incomes.

It's likely that there are multiple reasons why folks decide to stay in the environments that they do.

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