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The Changing Distribution of Negroes within Metropolitan Areas: The Emergence of Black Suburbs

Publication Abstract

Farley, Reynolds. 1970. "The Changing Distribution of Negroes within Metropolitan Areas: The Emergence of Black Suburbs." American Journal of Sociology, 75(4): 512-29.

Several studies have indicated that central cities and their suburban rings are coming to have dissimilar racial compositions. A closer examination of the data reveals that suburban rings do not have an exclusively white population. There are now, and always have been, suburban communities of blacks. In recent years, the growth of the Negro suburban population has accelerated. This growth appears concentrated in three types of areas: older suburbs which are experiencing population succession, new developments designed for Negro occupancy, and some improverished suburban enclaves. Despite this growth, city-suburban differences in the proportion of black population are increasing, and patterns of residential segregation by race within suburbs are emerging which are similar to those found within central cities. In the past, city-suburban differences in socioeconomic status were different among whites and Negroes. Unlike whites, the blacks who lived in the suburbs were typically lower in socioeconomic status than the blacks who lived in central cities. The recent migration to the suburbs, however, is apparently selective of higher status blacks, and it is likely the census of 1970 will reveal that the socioeconomic status of suburban blacks exceeds that of central city blacks.

DOI:10.1086/224873 (Full Text)

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