Recent trends and evidence hint that the racial composition of a growing number of urban neighborhoods in the United States either is stable or is shifting toward a lower percentage of black residents. This note focuses on the latter, ”reverse” (black to- white) pattern of racial change for the period 1970-1980. Using a sample of 3,303 census tracts in 58 large cities, I examine (1) the number of neighborhoods that experienced declines in the proportional representation of blacks, (2) the conditions under which such declines occurred, and (3) the combinations of race-specific population gains and losses that produced the declines. The results of my analysis, though tentative, suggest that white-to-black change is not as inevitable or as frequent as conventional wisdom would hold. The results also underscore the uncertainty involved in determining whether particular racial patterns reflect the success or failure of policy strategies for individual neighborhoods and households.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Urban Studies