Chocolate City gets Wealthier and Whiter

Flickr: Oblivious Dude

The Georgetown Waterfront. Lazy and uncreative shorthand for "wealthy" and "white"? Perhaps, but it's such a pretty photograph!

Loyal DCentric reader @BelmontMedina used Twitter to point us to this WaPo story from V. Dion Haynes. Haynes says that jobs are “changing D.C.’s income and racial makeup”. Or, to be blunter, the people of D.C. are becoming richer and whiter.

From 2000 to 2009, the District gained 39,000 households with incomes of $75,000 and higher, according to a Brookings analysis of Census data. During that same period, the city lost 37,600 households with incomes of $50,000 or less.

At the same time, the city’s proportion of black residents dropped to 52.7 percent from 59.4 percent, while its share of white residents rose to 33.3 percent from 27.8 percent.

Why such a stark change?

The loss of middle- and low-income residents is likely related to a growing mismatch between the people who calls the District home and the jobs available. A large number of the city’s unemployed may not be qualified for the jobs that are being created — mainly in the federal government and in professional and business services. Some experts say they believe those factors are driving minorities into suburban Maryland and Northern Virginia…

The problem is particularly acute for black D.C. residents, whose unemployment rate in the third quarter of 2010 was 18.9 percent, compared with 2.5 percent for whites, according to the Economic Policy Institute. A large proportion of blacks in the District are undereducated and do not qualify for the jobs most in demand.

And now, two things I want to point out:

1) When the City Paper included this story in their Loose Lips Daily roundup, they noted that the “District is becoming richer and whiter, says new Brookings report—just not on election day!” Zing! One D.C. resident had this to say about that snark wit. I mean, tweet.

Is @wcp trying to provoke? "District is becoming richer and whiter... just not on election day!"
Eric Fidler

2) Speaking of tweets, please feel free to send similar tips or story ideas to us via Twitter. We’re @DCntrc and we are always grateful for the help.

  • Anonymous

    I’m wondering if these people would be interested in moving to Detroit and gentrifying it?

    Perhaps huge tax breaks for corporations and businesses could lure them? Detroit has cheap land, cheap houses, abandoned factories – all waiting for someone, ANYONE to come in and save it.