‘Bright flight’ to inner cities? Minorities moving to suburbs?

That’s the conclusion of a recent Brookings Institution think tank study; it appears that demographics are in reverse mode all of a sudden. According to the study, younger educated whites are moving to central cities to shorten their commutes and for jobs, while minorities and the poor are moving to suburbs. To quote from the story: “Suburbs still tilt white. But, for the first time, a majority of all racial and ethnic groups in large metro areas live outside the city.”

This news impacts all kinds of city spending and planning decisions, from allowable density (which would likely need to rise to accommodate more residents) to street repairs/city services (which would probably receive more political attention from the incoming residents) to money spent on homeless care (those numbers could decrease, in theory) to public education (which could enjoy a “rising tide” of involved newcomers for the first time since desegregation).

None of these trends are, in and of themselves, life-changing in terms of our neighborhood. But over the next 10 to 20 years, assuming the study turns out to be correct, we could be sitting on real estate that increases in value exponentially thanks to higher demand from the newcomers.


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