Amazing Graphic Shows Chicago’s Middle Class Disappear Before Your Eyes

John Dodge, CBS Chicago, April 3, 2014

The graphic that you are about to see is sobering, perhaps depressing, and you can’t take your eyes off it.

We have the exhaustive work of Daniel Kay Hertz, a masters student at the University Of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy, to thank for that.


Watch as the grey squares, which illustrate the middle class that dominated the most of the city’s neighborhoods in 1970s, quickly vanish over 40 years.

The poor, represented by the orange and red colors, explode across the map.

And watch what happens in the green areas representing the upper middle class and wealthy. Not surprisingly, it spreads from downtown to the north side, but not with the same ferocity as the reds and oranges.

Especially in 2000, the greens–the color of money–grow much darker. It seems the rich simply got richer. In later years, the wealthy pushed the poor out of the near West Side. It appears that area bypassed the middle.

The data comes from the U.S. Census.

In his blog, Hertz says he fears that the often-told story of segregation and income inequality in Chicago has led to apathy.




[Editor’s Note: In 1970, Chicago was 65 percent white and 33 percent black. By 2010, Chicago was 32 percent white, 33 percent black, and 29 percent Hispanic.]

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  • The million-dollar question is why the remaining 29% are staying.

    • rasher223

      It’s the same story in most big metro cities like that.

      It’s the same way in dallas which I frequent often. 70% of the city is non-white.

      And the whites who do live there are mostly wealthy ones on the north side of town who own businesses in dallas, hence why they still live there.

      Non-wealthy whites don’t live in metro cities like that. We’re out here in the burbs away from the negros. I ain’t touching those cities.

      Although I’ve been hearing alot of talk about gentrification of whites pushing minorities out of entire regions of cities.

      • Strider73

        I know what you mean. I lived in Arlington from 1987-95, and blacks were ruining Dallas even then. (Also Fort Worth, though to a lesser degree.) In 1994 whites comprised ~15% of enrollment in Dallas schools; I estimate it’s about half of that now. A home in the 99% white Highland Park school district is worth 20-25% more than an identical home a block away in the DISD. Fortunately the Metroplex is full of good private schools.

        Given the fact that the Dallas North Tollway now goes clear up to Frisco, I see no reason for any wealthy person to stay in the city. Except for Ross Perot and GW Bush, of course — Perot can hire all the security he could ever need, while Shrub has lifetime Secret Service protection.

        • rasher223

          You’re exactly right. You know Frisco is I believe one of the fastest growing cities in America right now, if not THE fastest growing city.

          Lots of wealthy people moving there and it’s stirring up alot of business. Not sure why they chose frisco. I guess the wealthy people around the Dallas area are forging their own version of dallas. A white dallas. lol

          But yeah it’s a sad situation that Dallas. It’s flooded with mexicans and asians too. Only white people I see around dallas area are crack heads and white trash. There are times in Dallas when I feel like the only white person around.

          Hate that place.

          • Strider73

            Just remembered that some long-time friends of my parents retired to Frisco a year or two ago. The fast growth is no surprise, what with the Tollway going there and US 380 providing quick access to Denton and McKinney. The large Pizza Hut Park soccer complex, where FC Dallas plays its home games, is also in Frisco.

            I find it interesting that only two of the five “Dallas” sports teams actually play there (Mavericks & Stars). The Rangers have always been in Arlington, and the Cowboys joined them in 2009 after moving to Irving in 1971. Next time you’re in the area, be sure to take a guided tour of Cowboys Stadium. We did that a year ago; it’s quite a facility.

          • mike5586

            Amusing to see so many fellow DFW inhabitants here.

            Though personally I don’t see why anyone would move to Frisco, that’s just delaying the inevitable by a few years, a decade at most. Once I get my degree I’m leaving this state entirely.

            I hear Vermont is particularly white this time of year..

          • rasher223

            Well there’s not much opportunity outside of texas man.

            There’s a reason why people are moving here in massive droves from all over the world, not just all over the country.

            My little town I live in here east of dallas has seen triple population growth in just a few short years. You would never see muslims walking around with veils and head scarfs here in the past. The diversity has exploded here so much so that you see muslims from time to time now. I was walking through wal-mart about a week ago and saw a Somalian for the first time in my life. If somali’s are in yoru area that’s how you know it’s becoming veeeeeery diverse and that it’s time to get out quickly.

            Asians are a visible minority too. Where as in the past you would only see them at specific asian food places. Chinese immigrants own half the donut shops in my city now.

            Went from about 50-60,000 people to over 100,000 since 2005.

            The liberals need to ease off their taxes so these people can go back to those liberal utopias they’re fleeing from up north.

    • MBlanc46

      There are plenty of neighborhoods on the North Side that are quite livable. Along the north lakeshore there’s mile after mile of apartment towers where the affluent live and the young and hip keep colonizing former working class and even former black neighborhoods on the northwest side.

      • rasher223

        Yeah but aren’t the “young and hip” diversity loving gentiles?

        See how long that lasts.

        • Bartek

          They are also self sterilized and/or homosexual.

      • r j p

        Northside is too homosexual for me. Uptown is still a dump in my opinion. Wilson Red Line stop is a flop house. Rogers Park is almost a total ghetto, except for the shore, same with Evanston.

        • MBlanc46

          We couldn’t afford to live there, but we’re frequently there for theater. The homosexuals are (largely) white and affluent and they never cause us any problems.

          • r j p

            Homosexuals in Chicago are just offensive. They can’t act like normal people. They have to be “gay”.

          • MBlanc46

            I know some who aren’t that way. But we stay out of Boystown and rarely encounter those who are.

    • r j p

      I might not love the place, but this is where I live. Even the blind retiree I assist with adaptive technology and read for one day a week told me this. Fifteen years at the same address. Longest I have ever lived at the same address in my life, and where I live is never going ghetto even if it might be ghetto five blocks away. If I had a wife and child, yes I would have to move, but until then I have a view of the John Hancock Building.

  • LovelyNordicHeidi

    The non-Whites are taking more land every year. When are White Americans going to stand up together against this outrageous phenomenon?

  • Frank_DeScushin

    What the graphic tells us (even if the author won’t) is that both Chicago’s white middle class and white upper class fled the growing number of blacks and Hispanics on Chicago’s south side and downtown areas. The white upper class bought properties on Chicago’s north side so that they could be close to the city but far away from minorities (mainly blacks). And since the white middle class couldn’t afford those properties, they fled the city altogether rather than living adjacent to minorities (mainly blacks).

    • ricpic

      Some of the deepest green areas or zones are smack up against deep red zones. Which means that a wealthy Chicagoan, even if he goes from doorman building directly into cab or limousine to office to cab to health club to limo to restaurant back to doorman building is at all times a hair’s breadth from a dangerous encounter. And to actually go out on the street, to take a simple walk…out of the question. No way I would live. And for how much longer will the pleasures the city offers the rich be worth the daily peril?

      • r j p

        I live in deep green. I hate public transportation. People live on the trains.
        I swear I get sick every time after I use public transportation.
        And you are right, deep red is very close to deep green, I have to go through it to go to my dentist, eight blocks away.

  • sbuffalonative

    I saw a similar graph (maybe on AR) which shows the Hispanic take over of the American southwest.

    • TXCriollo

      I have seen that also, the scary part is Californian. New Mexico and Texas have always had Mexicans. If were talking about the same one the deep red was 25% or more counties like maverick county or Zapata county have maybe 2000 people in them. But california la county 25% of that county is scary

    • The Final Solution

      I’ve seen that map and it looks identical to the map of the allied forces surrounding Germany in the final months of WW2. They’re coming in through the coastal states and moving inland. This is absolutely an invasion. When we finally fight back we are going to take more than our territory back.

  • Tim_in_Indiana

    In his blog, Hertz says he fears that the often-told story of segregation and income inequality in Chicago has led to apathy.

    Leave it to this MSM writer to draw exactly the wrong conclusion from this story — those evil rich obviously sucked their money out of the middle class.

    If you identify the wrong problem, then naturally you will arrive at the wrong solutions — and that’s the very reason the country’s in the mess it’s in today.

  • Soon Chicago and Detroit will have a lot more in common.

  • Luca

    There is a list on Wikipedia of US Cities with large percentages of African Americans. Detroit is number one with 82.7%, Chicago is number 53 with 32.9%. Now imagine the 51 cities in between.

  • Jimbo Jones

    The only hope is to flood the city with foreigners and hope for the best.

    • Bartek

      The Mexicans and Yugoslavs are the only saving grace in the Chicago demographic picture.
      The Poles sensibly have been going home.

  • I looked at this posted on Drudge earlier today and said to myself this is NOT an economics story, but a RACE story. Yet, the story fails to mention race and ethnicity. It’s misleading, but a good example of Cultural Marxist journalism, and why we should get our news from blogs and alternative sources.

    • Strider73

      Also note that no comments are allowed for the original article. CBS management fears the honest reactions of honest white people.

    • LHathaway

      I suspect those who wrote the original article are well-aware of some racial implications of the story. They posted it anyway. Perhaps there was a time, just to be on the safe side, they would have choose to not cover this story or bury it. It’s not like it’s a story they could have choose not to cover, and are just trying to spin a story they could not avoid covering.

  • borogirl54

    Isn’t the West and South sides of Chicago the original black belt anyway? This is where the infamous housing projects such as the Robert Taylor Homes and Cabrini-Green were built.

    • MBlanc46

      The South Side along State Street was the original Black Belt. With the WWII and postwar migration from the South, the South Side ghetto expanded until it ran up against serious opposition from whites. When that happened, poorer blacks began to colonize the West Side. With the civil rights movement, they were able to force themselves into still more neighborhoods, so that the South Side is now largely black.

    • r j p

      Cabrini-Green was built just down the street from the Gold Coast.

  • TXCriollo

    Well thats diversity for you

  • Einsatzgrenadier

    The US is slowly entering a new Dark Age, where the majority of its citizens will be landless peasants ruled over by large multinational corporations. A shrinking middle class is just a harbinger of the coming medieval order.

    • IstvanIN

      Even in the middle ages the lord of the manor was expected to provide military protection and some measure of legal justice to the peasants. It may not have been a society of equals, but there was some sense reciprocity. You are insulting the dark Ages. We are becoming like the 1930s Soviet Union were a small elite literally killed off the peasants by the tens of millions. There was NO Noblesse Oblige in the USSR, there were simply evil overlords hell bent on control and destruction.

      • HamletsGhost

        In the middle ages, the lords and the serfs under them were usually both of the same nation. Exceptions, like the Norman rule of Saxon England after 1066, dissolved away with time.
        The Bolsheviks were dominated by an alien elite that positively despised the peasantry, and slaughtered them with scarcely concealed relish.
        Our current situation, of course, is in the second category.

    • NoMosqueHere

      There’s a lot of gloom expressed on Amren. I wish I could be positive, but I cannot. The future for the US is bleak, I fear.

  • TL2014

    I read, though, that during the recent decade Chicago has actually been losing black residents, who seem to be relocating to the south suburbs. I think there is a push to gentrify a lot of areas. Also, Rahm recently closed about 50 schools in mostly black areas, suggesting population loss. So, things are a bit more complex than presented.

    • MBlanc46

      Absolutely. The city lost population 2000-2010 and the biggest part of the loss was blacks. A lot of neighborhoods on the South and West Sides that were taken over by blacks in the 1950s-70s now consist mostly of rubble-strewn vacant lots.

      • r j p

        Chicago blacks have been moved to where welfare pays better.
        And you are right about the “rubble-strewn vacant lots”.
        Not a thing is ever rebuilt in those areas.
        Fambily loses a house it just becomes a board up.

  • MBlanc46

    One should keep in mind that a lot of the whites moved to the suburbs.

    • r j p

      Whites ran as fast as they could to the burbs when busing was instituted.

      • MBlanc46

        They really had no choice. When blacks started invading a neighborhood, they overran the entire area. As you’re no doubt aware, many South and West Side neighborhoods are 95-98% black.

        • r j p

          Oh yes I am aware.

  • The Final Solution

    I saw some great data today on the Migration Policy Institute website. They have an interactive chart that tells you which nations immigrants to each country are coming from and how many. You can select the USA and any other nation and see how many invaders come from that country.

  • One thing that happens when the white middle class abandons a city this completely is that municipal sales tax revenues fall off a cliff. Whites are not shopping there anymore, they’re not eating out there anymore, the list goes on. Oh, dear me! How will Chicongo ever continue to pay for the gibsmedats for the black diversitards and brown incompetoids?

    The short answer is that they eventually will not be able to. Once they don’t have the money to pay on the municipal bonds they’ve issued, they won’t be able to sell any more of those, either!

    Whites play an amusing variant on that infamous knockout game the governmedia chimera says doesn’t exist. We call it “financial knockout”.

    • r j p

      9.5% sales tax. Excise taxes on bottled water, booze, cigarettes and soda pop and sales tax on top.
      People with the ability to leave Chicago to buy these things buy elsewhere.
      But Rahm keeps spending as we plunge further into debt.

      • shmo123

        It’s worse than that. I paid 11% the last time I was in Midway airport. Insane.

        • r j p

          Car rental tax is 23% I believe.

      • That’s a good 50% more than it is here. That’ll never happen in Colorado for the simple reason that it is ILLEGAL under the state constitution for any state or city tax rates to be increased without a public ballot initiative approving it. Colorado Springs tried to skate around that for stormwater runoff improvements by creating a “special improvement district”. The matter immediately went to court, and once it had been challenged, I stopped paying. The city lost in court, so I never did have to pay.

        The distinguishing feature about SIDs – special improvement districts – is that the creation of these allow municipalities to collect extra taxes for necessary work, while routing the regular tax money they had earlier been spending on the same items into programs the voters would never tolerate, or into slush-funds that get wasted on things like national mayors’ conferences.

        Thanks to Doug Bruce’s amendment, we are able to keep the state and cities on a relatively short leash here.

  • Bartek

    This change is a direct result of Chicago Housing Authority/HUD policies that dismantled the centralized projects and spread their filth throughout the city in an effort to enrich the Sec 8 slum lords and help the worthless and lazy experience the ‘middle class dream’.
    So much for the ‘social justice’ lies of genetic subversive Daniel Kay Hertz.

  • Bartek

    Percentage is deceptive, raw numbers tell the truth.
    Black population in the USA has doubled since 1960, thanks mainly to Lyndo Johnson breeding programs.
    Blacks would show a 20% increase in percentage if the Mexicans went home.
    All the while White population has dropped through the floor like a plague struck that only killed White people.
    That is why everything looks like Planet of the Apes and there are more than enough Black yoofs to stage violent mob attacks.

  • Jon Doe

    the next Detroit

  • Ringo Lennon

    Death of a great city. Isn’t diversity terrific? People telling us that are willful liars.

  • MBlanc46

    The old saying is “Chicago is a city of neighborhoods” and for all practical purposes some of those neighborhoods might as well be on different planets. A common whine among integrationists is that many blacks live their entire lives in Chicago and never see the Loop or Lake Michigan. And no white in his or her right mind goes to the South Side or West Side ghetto. It’s a very segregated place.

    • r j p

      I go to Tinley Park monthly to do some shopping.
      Looking out the train windows at the Southside is a trip in itself.
      The West Side is even more amazing. Burned down in the riots and 45 years later still not rebuilt. I was amazed when I was shown it.
      Oak Park dead ends every street on the Chicago border.

      • MBlanc46

        When the Ike was being rebuilt some years back, I drove downtown from the western suburbs along Roosevelt Road. It was Sunday mornings, so it pretty quiet. It was sobering to see what blacks can do to bustling city neighborhoods in just a few decades.

  • r j p

    I have written about this as well.
    West Virginia vs. Ohio.
    Kentucky vs. Ohio.
    Small negro population in WV or KY river cities, huge negro population across the river in Ohio.
    They go where the money flows free.

  • HamletsGhost

    Hypocrisy runs deep in the human psyche, and not just among liberals.
    I’m always amused by evangelicals who insist that they’re going to heaven when they die, and get to be in the loving arms of Jesus foreverafter. Yet when it comes time for them to go, they do all they can to stay on Earth just a little bit longer.
    If they really believed they were going to heaven, they should be happy to hurry the process along. Perhaps their faith isn’t as strong as they say.
    Like the saying: “Everyone wants to go to heaven, but no one wants to die” so too do liberal want integration, but in someone else’s neighborhood.

  • r j p

    Why has the South Shore not turned White?
    I looked at some houses down there online and the only thing left was the bathtub.
    When they lost their houses they stole everything not glued into place.