Blacks, Whites Still Living Apart in Northern New Jersey

AP, May 30

NEWARK, N.J.—The majority of affluent blacks in northern New Jersey choose to live in predominantly black neighborhoods near urban areas, according to a published report.

An analysis of demographic and census data by The Star-Ledger of Newark also finds that from 1980 to 2000, thousands of whites left communities that were more than 5 percent black.

The situation means that blacks and whites in the region are still living apart even as the population becomes more diverse.

The Star-Ledger analysis examined the living situation of nearly 13,000 black families making more than $114,000 per year, which places them in the upper one-fifth of the state’s income scale.

Two-thirds of those affluent black families in northern New Jersey were found to be living in mostly black neighborhoods near urban areas.

“This is surprising to people because we’d like to believe that (neighborhood) differences are mostly based on market capacity and whether you can afford to live here, and it’s hard to accept that race is still a very important barrier,” said John Logan, a sociologist at Brown University in Rhode Island.

Meanwhile, the state’s total white population during the 1980s and ‘90s increased by 114,000 in towns that were less than 5 percent black. The white population decreased by 412,000 everywhere else.

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