Because that’s where the houses are, because that’s who the kids are

Assuming the US doesn’t embark on any new grandiose social engineering experiments in the next few decades, the burbs are going to become much more diverse, both racially and economically.

  1. Most people with young kids aren’t white and aren’t well off.
  2. A huge quantity of US housing stock, particularly single family homes, is in the burbs.
  3. As demand from well-off Millennials has concentrated on cities, housing markets in the burbs have cooled off.
  4. Tens of millions of aging Baby Boomers are going to need to sell their suburban homes over the next few decades.
  5. The US has a huge government-backed housing-industrial complex that is going to still be looking for marginally credit-worthy people to lend money to.

Presto change-o, you don’t need busing or Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing to integrate the schools- the schools will get more integrated just about everywhere except for a few pockets of out-of-this-world privilege here and there.  Places like Ferguson, Missouri (which believe it or not as recently as 2008 was the kind of place people recommend you move to for the schools) show how this process could go badly. But maybe it won’t: in particular, it will be very strongly in the interest of the lower-middle class black and Hispanic families who start buying into previously affluent suburbs that the courts don’t push large low-income housing developments on these same suburbs and that banks don’t drop credit standards for the next group of borrowers to come through. I don’t think unregulated markets are going to solve every problem, but quite a bit of the segregation of US urban areas could wind itself down on its own without much of a push.

 

4 thoughts on “Because that’s where the houses are, because that’s who the kids are

  1. Chances of leaving it alone to unwind itself vs. government creation of Fergusson for everyone combined with White-flight 2, the return of the extended family under one roof in “a good school district” vs. universal school choice?

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  2. I don’t think unregulated markets are going to solve every problem, but quite a bit of the segregation of US urban areas could wind itself down on its own without much of a push.

    This assumes a prior conclusion that segregation is a “problem.”

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  3. Glad to see the citation of City-Data, which (though heavily moderated) is an excellent place for Real Talk about where and where not to move — which neighborhoods for local newbies. Yes, the comments are often heavily euphemistic, but they get the point across.

    It would obviously be much simpler for people to just look at the Cooper Center Dot Map
    http://demographics.coopercenter.org/racial-dot-map/
    but there are too many layers of self-deception and other-deception involved for that to work.

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  4. I think the future will be slightly more nuanced regarding the Suburbs. Yes the downscale exurbs like Ferguson will be populated with Section 8 blacks and mestizos but If you take the affluent Northeast for example, as the Boomers and even Gen X retire over the next 10-25 years, the Asians are going to be buying into those suburban neighborhoods. When I say Asian, I include the Indians to a great extent. The second/third generation Indians tend to want to assimilate into the white norms as much as possible and I see them paying the market rate with excellent credit scores. I have no doubt they will be snapping up the $500k and up housing as the older whites move out. The blacks will be in the cities or exurbs for the next 200 years. You see, we have imported our replacements already but it was never the Mexicans, it is the Asians. The remaining 20% affluent white population will live among the upper middle class and the 20% low income whites will be living with the black and brown underclass.

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