Black Flight: Racial Shuffling in American Metropolitan Areas

Orly Clerge, Brown University
Hilary Silver, Brown University

This paper aims to distinguish the various patterns of black population movement in the past decade. It analyzes data from the 2010 US Census and the 2000 Census (Longitudinal Tract Data Base with constant census tract boundaries from US2010) to identify various patterns of Black Flight in six large American metropolitan areas and their relationship to white middle class and immigrant movements. The six MSAs – Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, New York -- are selected because case studies suggest they exemplify some of the black mobility trends that this paper focuses on. They are also very racially segregated, have histories of racial (especially black-white) animus, and were studies in the MCSUI surveys. Combining decennial population censuses with ACS five-year estimates, the study explores the predictors of absolute changes in black population within census tracts, principle (central) cities, and metropolitan characteristics.

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Presented in Poster Session 8