Map Monday: Twin Cities Diversity Trends by Neighborhood, 2000 – 2017

The New York Times published a compelling map-based article this weekend about how white and non-white ratios are changing in neighborhoods around the United States. Their key thesis is that white homebuyers are rapidly changing the demographics and real estate values of neighborhoods that have long been home for people of color in many US cities.

The article is full of data and maps; here is the map showing Minneapolis and Saint Paul:

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Here’s how the Times explains the logic of this trend:

In America, racial diversity has much more often come to white neighborhoods. Between 1980 and 2000, more than 98 percent of census tracts that grew more diverse did so in that way, as Hispanic, Asian-American and African-American families settled in neighborhoods that were once predominantly white.

But since 2000, according to an analysis of demographic and housing data, the arrival of white residents is now changing nonwhite communities in cities of all sizes, affecting about one in six predominantly African-American census tracts. The pattern, though still modest in scope, is playing out with remarkable consistency across the country — in ways that jolt the mortgage market, the architecture, the value of land itself.

In city after city, a map of racial change shows predominantly minority neighborhoods near downtown growing whiter, while suburban neighborhoods that were once largely white are experiencing an increased share of black, Hispanic and Asian-American residents.

The Twin Cities does have as stark examples of these kinds of neighborhoods as some other cities, like Raleigh, Brooklyn, Atlanta, or Chicago. But here it’s pretty clear that more white people are buying homes in Frogtown Saint Paul and North Side Minneapolis, while more people of color are buying homes in suburbs than they did a generation or two ago. This is important because of the persistent wealth gaps that exist between white households and other groups, which are charted out in the article.

Check out the whole piece on the Times for more info.


Bill Lindeke

About Bill Lindeke

Pronouns: he/him

Bill Lindeke has writing blogging about sidewalks and cities since 2005, ever since he read Jane Jacobs. He is a lecturer in Urban Studies at the University of Minnesota Geography Department, the Cityscape columnist at Minnpost, and has written multiple books on local urban history. He was born in Minneapolis, but has spent most of his time in St Paul. Check out Twitter @BillLindeke or on Facebook.