I’ve written in recent weeks about how changing demographics in the city of Savannah and throughout the region might impact this Tuesday’s vote. But the importance of the trends extends into many other areas too.
I think Savannah’s diversity is one of its advantages — but it’s an advantage often seen as a disadvantage. Regrettably, we saw heightened racial tension — in the political arena if not really anyplace else — in the city manager controversy.
But the demographic changes over the last 20 years suggest that pretty much all neighborhoods are becoming more diverse — that goes for majority white and majority black ones.
For lots more data and to look at individual Census tracts, go to this page at The Washington Post and type in a zip code or location. You can then select a variety of filters for 1990, 2000, and 2010 data.
My census tract doesn’t precisely overlap with neighborhood lines. My tract in 2010 had 1,149 people (47% black, 44.1% white). In 1990, that same tract had 1,715 people (97% black). That’s a dramatic shift, but our maps are dotted with such dramatic shifts of depopulation and of mixing of races. One west side tract, for example, was 83.9% non-Hispanic white in 1990, but as of 2010 was 57% Hispanic.
Here are four screen shots. The darker blue-green represents areas that are predominantly black; the darker red represents larger white populations. Note how the darkest colors have been diluted by increased diversity.