All Articles Tagged "reverse migration"
A lot can happen in a decade and from 2000-2010, events like 9/11 and the economic recession certainly molded how people lived their lives. Opportunity and safety are big determinants in the decision-making process that goes into deciding where to settle for many families. As was touted in the media as of late, the past decade saw a reverse migration on the part of African-Americans who looked the South for stability and promise, with the exception of New Orleans which obviously lost many Black residents because of the long-felt effects of Katrina. Check out who lost and who gained the most African-American residents.
Source: U.S. Census
Top 5 Decliners
(The Root) — Roderick J. Harrison, a Howard University researcher, said he was not surprised earlier this year when the U.S. Census Bureau reported a dramatic decline in Chicago’s black population. The recession and perception of better economic opportunities in Southern states such as Georgia and Texas — and even Western states like California, Nevada and Arizona — have prompted a number of black Chicagoans to pack up their belongings and create new paths in a pattern being called reverse migration. It’s similar to the historic journey created by their ancestors decades ago in the Great Migration of African Americans from the South to the North and Midwest. Even the allure of Chicago being the hometown of the nation’s first black president, Barack Obama, may not be enough to draw people back.
Every six months, a publication like the New York Times prints an article about the new reverse migration, which involves Blacks in large coastal cities like New York and Los Angeles moving down South for more affordable living. According to its most recent report, “about 17 percent of the African-Americans who moved to the South from other states in the past decade came from New York, far more than from any other state, according to census data.”
This movement is celebrated for the simple fact that it reflects Black Americans getting in touch with their roots, for only half a century earlier, the migration was depleting the South of its African-American residents.
But for each story, there are two sides. One dynamic these reports don’t comment on is the fraction of new Southern inhabitants who find themselves moving back. Many, who move from New York and California, find that they’ve moved into a market with less jobs and less venues for social activity. It may be more affordable but only for those who can find work.
Kelly Green, a small business coach and internet marketer, moved to Atlanta in 2006 from the New York area. She enjoyed the affordability but realized the complex economics that made it possible. “I was able to buy a condo for about 1/3 the price I paid in NY with a lot more amenities,” she said. “But since then the housing market has slowed way down. There is so much inventory here in Atlanta it was impossible for me to sell when I tried to sell it and move back to NY.”
The unemployment rate as of April 2011 was 9.7 percent for Atlanta. For New York City, it was 8.6% as of May, with the East Coast city boasting a wider availability of jobs for highly skilled professionals. Atlanta is promoted as the new Black Mecca, helped in part by the proliferation of reality shows, the Tyler Perry business engine and its top notch offering of colleges, including two of the country’s best HBCUs.
Dr. Joyce Marley, who followed her daughter to Atlanta after a back injury, said that the city didn’t initially meet her expectations. “[I was] disappointed at how far many Caucasians and African-Americans had not come with regard to race and gender,” she said. Having witnessed people who’ve come and gone, Marley believes that networks are underestimated. Moving as an adult to a new city requires a lot of legwork, in terms of establishing social circles and acclimating into a new cultural environment.
“Many either return to where they came from or they move on to somewhere else, because they don’t have the support, find themselves not advancing, and they also do not find the sense of family as they thought they would..”
(The Press Enterprise) — The growth in the Inland area’s black population slowed in the 2000s, and African-American community leaders said that is partly because of a steady migration of black residents to the South. The “reverse migration” to the South, from where millions left in the early and mid-1900s, began in the late 1970s in the North, especially in decaying industrial centers, said William Frey, a senior fellow and demographer with the Washington-based Brookings Institution and author of a 2004 report on the phenomenon. States such as New York, Illinois and Pennsylvania began seeing more blacks leave than arrive.
That trend didn’t reach California until the late 1990s, in part because California’s economy was stronger than in some northern areas, he said. Some of the biggest gains in black population in recent years have been in southern states. Frey said the South has become more attractive as it has modernized. ”It’s different not only because of the difference in the racial climate but also economically,” he said. “There are jobs there.”