*According to data released from the Census Bureau this past Tuesday, the nation’s second largest city – Los Angeles – is losing its Black population at a fairly rapid pace.
However, the development in Los Angeles may be part of a national trend in which Blacks are leaving (or being driven out of) major cities all across the country.
In the case of Los Angeles, the Census data showed that the populations of Asian Americans, Hispanics and whites all increased during the 2000 to 2010 period. but, there was an actual 7.9 percent decrease in the number of Blacks living in the city. This decrease compares with an 18.4 percent increase in the Asian American population; a 10.5 percent increase for Hispanics or Latinos and a 6.4 percent increase for whites.
Whites remain the largest population group at 4.9 million – barely beating out Latinos at 4.6 million.
Meanwhile, the Census Bureau is reporting declining African American populations in cities nationwide – ranging from Washington, DC and Atlanta, Georgia to Cleveland, Ohio and New York City. Even in the so-called “Capitol of Black America” – Harlem, New York -white gentrification and an exploding Hispanic population appear to be pushing Blacks out of the area. According to a Census Bureau report released last April, Greater Harlem is now just 40 percent Black – the lowest percentage of African Americans since the 1920s.
The primary factors driving Blacks from the cities appear to be the intentional return to family roots in the South; the rapid growth in Hispanic population (they now have the nation’s highest birth rate) and whites returning to the cities bringing about so-called gentrification and rising housing costs which many Blacks simply cannot afford.