By Charlotte Young
Not all black and Hispanic families find themselves “movin’ on up” once they’ve reached a level of affluence and wealth. Even with success, USA Today reports that affluent blacks and Hispanics are more likely to live in poorer neighborhoods.
The study, taken from new census data, compares average black and Hispanic households making more than $75,000 a year to average lower-income non-Hispanic white households making less than $40,000 a year. The study finds that all minorities at every income level are more likely to live in poorer neighborhoods in comparison to whites at the same income levels. John Logan, a sociologist and director of US2010 Project at Brown University finds that blacks are the most segregated and affluent blacks often live around people who have not reached their level of prosperity.
The reason for this? White middle-class families who want to live around people that look like them can easily do so. But this is not always the case for African Americans who usually find themselves the minority in higher income neighborhoods. The trend sticks close to their history of segregation, and occurs most often in the Northeast’s and Midwest’s large metro areas.
Affluent blacks are more exposed to poverty than non-Hispanic whites in all but two (Las Vegas and Riverside, CA) of the top metro areas with a large population of blacks. Atlanta and Washington DC offer exceptions to a history of segregation, as they have been called home to large, affluent black populations for years.
Asians are the exception to minorities living in poorer neighborhoods. Affluent Asians are in fact less exposed to poverty in their neighborhoods than even affluent whites.
In areas with recent population growth, such as parts of the Sun Belt, the disparities are lower. People are coming into neighborhoods that have not yet been classified as “white” or “Hispanic” or “black.” Sociologist Roderick Harrison says that the people moving into these areas are, “moving in on a more equal footing.”
An unfortunate reality for affluent minority populations, is that their money cannot bring them complete success if they stay in the poorer neighborhoods.
Blacks and Hispanics living in less affluent areas are often faced with the same problems of poor blacks and Hispanics, such as lack of access to good schools. This of course equates to lack of access to opportunities for their children.
For these minority populations, Logan reveals that, “separate translates to unequal even for the most successful black and Hispanic minorities.”