Why Diversity Increased In African-American Neighborhoods

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The average black person’s neighborhood is more racially diverse today than it was 30 years ago, and not because of an increase in white neighbors.

A rise in Hispanic and Asian neighbors has changed the racial makeup of neighborhoods where the average black person lives, Margery Turner of think tank Urban Institute writes. Meanwhile, the percentage of white people in these neighborhoods hasn’t changed that much over the past 30 years, Turner notes. Take a look at these charts showing the racial breakdown of neighborhoods where the average black person lived in 1980 and today.

Neighborhood of the Average African-American in 1980:

*Source: Urban Institute

Neighborhood of the Average African-American today:

*Source: Urban Institute

Racial diversity has increased somewhat in white neighborhoods, as well. In 1970, one in five urban neighborhoods didn’t have a single black resident. Today, the all-white urban neighborhood is virtually non-existent. That’s according to a February report by conservative think tank the Manhattan Institute, which declared that African-Americans increasingly moving to the suburbs has been a major driving force in reducing racial segregation.

A number of D.C. neighborhoods have experienced dramatic changes in racial demographics, such as the blocks north of the U Street corridor, which went from 77 percent black in 1990 to 15 percent black in 2010. But not every neighborhood has seen such changes; about 17 neighborhoods, where a total of 46,000 people live, have remained nearly all black.