Louis Aguilar and Christine MacDonald at the Detroit News report today that “Detroit’s white population up after decades of decline.” The reporters explain their analysis:
Detroit’s white population rose by nearly 8,000 residents last year, the first significant increase since 1950, according to a Detroit News analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data.
The data, made public Wednesday, mark the first time census numbers have validated the perception that whites are returning to a city that is overwhelmingly black and one where the overall population continues to shrink.
But the article is careful to point out concerns:
[S]ome long-time Detroiters say recently arrived whites and new businesses are often wrongly portrayed as saviors of the city, and that so far, the comeback is wildly uneven.
The heavy focus on bringing residents to certain neighborhoods, potentially at the expense of others, has left some feeling that neighborhoods filled with longtime black Detroiters are being ignored.
“You are creating lopsided communities,” said Yusef Shakur, a community organizer with the group Restoring the Neighborhood back to the Hood. “You are putting all your wealth in Midtown, downtown … Woodbridge.”
The top commentator on the article, Chris Terry, makes another interesting, though anecdotal, observation:
[A]lmost none of these new urban pioneers have children. I have professional friends living downtown, Midtown and Corktown. All are well into the age of family formation, yet none have kids. Doesn’t seem like a trend that portends sustainable change if Detroit can only attract people making these choices. I pass no judgment on the choice, but the long-term question about this ought be asked.
h/t Deadline Detroit