Last summer, the town of GROSSE POINTE PARK, MI, built a farmer's market in the middle of one of the few remaining streets that allowed cars to pass between the tony suburb and the urban DETROIT neighborhoods at its border!!!
It was the latest of many attempts by Grosse Pointe Park residents to
There were protests about the border, and Grosse Pointe Park later said it would tear down the farmer's market and re-open the road, but the incident speaks volumes to the segregation that exists in Detroit, and the tensions that can grow as a result.
The fact that these two areas are so close is unique—the border between Grosse Pointe Park and the city of Detroit is the only place in any of America's biggest cities where a very wealthy, predominantly-white area abuts a very poor, black one.
But the existence of self-segregated wealthy white areas close by low-income minority ones IS NOT unique, according to Minnesota researchers.
They have sorted census tracts in 15 of America's 20 biggest cities into RACIALLY CONCENTRATED AREAS Of AFFLUENCE (RCAA) and RACIALLY CONCENTRATED AREAS Of POVERTY (RCAP), and find that many cities have more areas of segregated affluence than they do poverty.
RCAA, by the researchers' definition, are census tracts where 90% or more of the population is WHITE and the median income is at least four times the federal poverty level, adjusted for the cost of living in each city.
RCAP, by contrast, are census tracts where more than 50% of the population is NON-WHITE, and more than 40 percent live in poverty.
Cities such as St. Louis, Boston, Baltimore, and Minneapolis have more racially concentrated areas of affluence (RCAAs) than they do racially concentrated areas of poverty (RCAPs). Boston has the most RCAAs of the cities they examined, with 77. St. Louis has 44 RCAAs, and 36 RCAPs. Other cities with a large number of racially concentrated areas of affluence include Philadelphia, with 70, Chicago, with 58, and Minneapolis, with 56.
There is less self-segregation of metro areas out WEST.
SAN FRANCISO and HOUSTON have just five racially concentrated areas of affluence each, SEATTLE has nine, LOS ANGELES, 11. Seattle has just six racially concentrated areas of poverty and San Francisco has 12. These western cities have larger populations of affluent minorities, and are, in general, more diverse.
Only 1.1 percent of affluent households live in RCAAs in San Francisco and only 3.1 percent do in Seattle, but in St. LOUIS, by contrast, 23.1 percent of affluent households live in a racially concentrated area of affluence. In cities in the North and East, there are also still lingering effects of the housing policies that, for decades, kept non-white families from buying in certain neighborhoods.
The racial makeup of concentrated areas of poverty differs between regions, too: they're predominantly BLACK in ATLANTA, BALTIMORE, CHICAGO, DETROIT, St LOUIS, PHILADELPHIA, and WASHINGTON.
They are predominantly LATINO in HOUSTON and LOSANGELES, and MIXED in BOSTON, MANNEAPOLIS, and SAN FRANCISO.
So, just WHERE Do The WHITE PEOPLE LIVE???
For the new issue of The ATLANTIC Magazine, ATLANTIC Journalist ALANA SEMUELS investigates how Self-Segregation and Concentrated Affluence became normal in the USA, and attempts to illustrate WHERE The WHITE PEOPLE LIVE.
BOSTON Metro Area
DETROIT Metro Area