First, US cities saw "white flight" -- where white Americans fled cities in the face of dropping property values and rising crime rates and tax rates. Now we are seeing "black flight" from US cities for some of the same reasons. Detroit is the worst example of this de-population phenomenon, but not the only one, according to the 2010 US census.
In all, the city [Detroit] lost more than 237,000 residents, including 185,000 blacks and about 41,000 whites. The Hispanic population ticked up by 1,500. Meanwhile, the black population in neighboring Macomb County more than tripled to 72,723, constituting 8.6% of the county's population in 2010, compared with 2.7% a decade earlier. Oakland County's African-American population rose 36% to 164,078.
...In 1950, Detroit was the fifth-largest city in America, behind New York, Chicago, Philadelphia and Los Angeles, and it was in the top 10 as recently as the 1990 Census. Now, Detroit is likely to fall to 19th, behind Indianapolis and Columbus, Ohio.
...Some pockets of Detroit are seeing growth, led by immigrants, young professionals and artisans, which Mayor Bing sees as an important trend. "We are getting a lot of that 21-to-30 population moving back to the city," he said. "I think that bodes very well for us."
...Detroit's largely Hispanic southwest neighborhood remains stable, helped by new immigration, cheap housing and low barriers of entry, said Angela Reyes, executive director of the Detroit Hispanic Development Corp., a community organization. _WSJ
The movement of populations out of crumbling, crime-ridden cities to safer and better-maintained outlying areas is just a foretaste of a larger and wider migration. Americans are in fact moving out of states that are dominated by machine politics, government unions, and high-crime cities. They are moving to states with lower taxes, more business-friendly policies, fewer compulsory unionisation policies, and generally less crime.
Relative newcomer governors of New Jersey, Wisconsin, Ohio, and other states are fighting to save their states from the fate of Detroit, Michigan, Illinois, and California -- states that had been particularly burdened by debt caused by government unions and machine politics. But success is not guaranteed.
In order for western nations such as the US, Canada, the UK, and several European nations to survive, they will need to adopt an entirely new psychology of resourcefulness, toughness, and responsibility. The current paths of hyper-indebtedness, high taxes, over-sized governments and government unions etc. cannot be sustained.
Labels: crime, demographics