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for people who care about the West

The whites are back in town


Whites are moving back into the city of Denver, and people of color are sprawling into suburbia, according to a case study in the Sunday edition of The Denver Post.

Hey, that’s the same story in Washington, D.C. Dubbed “Chocolate City,” D.C. is due to transition from majority black to majority white in 2014, according to some folks who made projections from past censuses.

Typical story for a lot of places: higher property values in the city drive lower-income households out. And those same property values also make it tough for certain types of land usage like urban gardens to blossom (literally) – all this because commercial ventures are more profitable.

The Denver Post study also shows that Latino families with more kids seek homes with more space in the suburbs. At the same time, the percentage of white births has increased on the edge of historically black neighborhoods.

The 2010 census will either confirm or contradict the study, but in the meantime, these are some key findings from the Post’s analysis of births by race and neighborhood between 2000 and 2007:

- The percentage of children born to white families is on the rise in Denver, while Latino births are declining, reversing a decades-old trend.

- Not a single neighborhood in Denver has more than 50 percent of its births to African-Americans. In 1990, there were 14 such tracts in Denver. North Park Hill has seen black births drop from 70 percent of all births in 1990 to 24 percent in 2007.

- The entire metro area is becoming more integrated.

In Austin, TX, according to city demographer Ryan Robinson, there’s a decreasing amount of married-with-children families in the city. At the same time, the growth rate of minorities is statistically higher than that of Anglos. So: the more babies there are, the more minorities get shoved out into the suburbs.

Many see it as an opportunity for mixed race neighborhoods to form cross-cultural communities. But it seems like the next step after that is complete gentrification, where minorities are forced out of geographically ideal living spaces en masse because of economic status. But what exactly makes gentrification a fair game?