National trend toward increased diversity in cities echoed here in Savannah

Back in November, I wrote about the interesting trend in Savannah toward greater diversity in almost every neighborhood over the last couple of decades. Predominantly black neighborhoods saw more white residents in 2010 than in 1990, and predominantly white neighborhoods saw more blacks move in.

Here’s a repeat of some of that post almost three months ago:

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.

A larger view of the county in 1990:

That same view for 2010:

A little tighter view of Savannah in 1990:

Savannah in 2010:

Now the WSJ has a fascinating piece: Segregation Hits Historic Low; Flight From Rust Belt Cities, Immigration Boost Integration in Cities, Study Says

From that piece:

The report, released by the conservative Manhattan Institute, said U.S. cities are more integrated now than at any time since 1910, based on analysis of census data from neighborhoods.

Fifty years ago, nearly half the black population lived in a ghetto, the study said, while today that proportion has shrunk to 20%. All-white neighborhoods in U.S. cities are effectively extinct, according to the report.

Immigration and gentrification have helped convert ghettos into racially mixed communities and contributed to diversifying suburbia, said economists Edward Glaeser of Harvard University and Jacob Vigdor of Duke University, who co-wrote the study. “Segregation is as low as we have ever seen it,” said Mr. Vigdor. “It’s an unprecedented scenario.”

The article notes concerns that the conclusions seem “too rosy” to some experts and that many links — like that of poverty and segregation — are still important.

But it’s still a fascinating piece for those of us interested in how our cities are changing.