Number of Black Kids Plunges in US' Biggest Cities

And mostly because families are heading to the suburbs
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 30, 2011 12:04 PM CDT
Youngsters leave a basketball court at the Colonel Charles Young playground in Harlem, N.Y., on Tuesday, June 28, 2011. The playground is located in an area where census tract 232 data has noted a 38...   (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)
camera-icon View 3 more images

(Newser) – Call it "black flight:" The number of black children living in the US' biggest cities has plummeted over the last decade, reports the AP. New York City lost 22.4% of its black, non-Hispanic kids, while Los Angeles lost 31.8%, Detroit 37.6%, and a whopping 42.3% in Oakland, Calif. All told, the latest Census shows half a million fewer black children living in the 25 biggest cities. Smaller families and plunging teen pregnancy rates are part of the story, but experts say the biggest factor has been black families' migration to the suburbs.

"More African Americans are going to college. There were big income gains during the Clinton administration," said one demographics expert. "Now they are moving to the suburbs where they have better schools ... They don't want their children in inner-city schools." Some are moving for economic reasons, finding city life too expensive. Others move for cultural reasons or to escape violence. "I'd been in Harlem for 16 years, and when I first came, I was young, and I was excited and it was a Mecca. But progressively each year, it got rougher and rougher to be here," said a New York publicist. "The violence. The profiling by the cops. I just started to get really, really frustrated."

My Take on This Story
Show results without voting  |