Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

EastSideResider

Change in Atlanta....

22 posts in this topic

accoring to the census, (Atlanta's Census), Altanta is going from 33.2% white to 39% in only 4 years. And going from 61.4% to 54.2% black in only 4 years? Do you think ATL's cultural background will change?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


That link (unless I am reading it wrong) says Atlanta's population dropped by 67,000 in the last 4 years. That is an amazing number if true and probably has a lot to do with the shift in demographics.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Those numbers are more dramatic than I expected. Clearly, the African-American majority in Atlanta is shrinking. The white and black middle class professionals are moving to the city in droves as poorer black families leave due to the rising cost of housing. Welcome to a rapidly gentrifying city. I find it interesting that the hispanic population is growing fast too. There are neighborhoods that were working class African-American areas that are becoming working class hispanic areas. I really think the city's population is going to become somewhat like LA, with perhaps no group truly dominating completely. That is why I think Mayor Franklin will be the last black mayor elected by a majority-black electorate, but I do not think she will be the last black mayor. I think the population mix will be far more complex and the politics as well. It will all be very interesting to watch. I think the biggest implications are not so much racial as class. The city is becoming a more affluent place as much of the poorer population gets displaced to older suburbs. This has huge implications for city politics, city services, the physical development of the city, and the future of the older suburbs. One more note--a while back there was another startling figure. It concerned the dramatic drop in the school student population in the past five years or so. I do not remember the numbers, but they were big. That again pertains to the displacement of poorer black families from the city proper due to the redevelopment of public housing and other trends. Incoming residents tend to be childless singles or couples or empty nesters.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That link (unless I am reading it wrong) says Atlanta's population dropped by 67,000 in the last 4 years. That is an amazing number if true and probably has a lot to do with the shift in demographics.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I saw that too Monsoon. When I saw it I was skeptical. Then I went to a different page on the same website and found the population for 2004 to be 419,122.

Atlanta's 2004 Pop Figure

Okay, why such a large discrepancy? On the same website for the same year no less. Maybe I'm reading it wrong.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for sharing that site - interesting stats, I wish the Census would aggregate those to tract level data for estimate updates. That population figure though, is really bizarre - I can understand population leveling due to gentrification, but in the past 15 years here, I've never witnessed such a large amount of people here in Atlanta.

Ok, reading more - has there truly been a massive exodus of Blacks from Atlanta? I've been aware that Blacks have been leaving the city, but that discrepancy is far too massive to explain. 65,000 Blacks in 4 years?

Something else interesting, despite the population loss - it does indicate an increase in housing units from 186k to 199k.

Another bizarre stat - the median single family home value went from $130k to $217k in 4 years!

Something is going on here - sorry EastsideResider, good potential conversation here. But the Census estimates are puzzling...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

While the specific numbers may be questionable, I do not doubt the trend. The 2000 census showed a significant drop in the African-American population from the 1990 census (I think 67% to 61%, but I did not check the exact numbers), most of it presumable coming in the later part of the decade post-Olympics. Living in Atlanta, I am amazed at how little real discussion there is of this trend. It is like everyone knows it is occurring, but it's such a sensitive topic, that nobody wants to start discussing it or its implications.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

^^^Interesting and I think it is something that everyone is aware of but its sorta taboo to discuss.

The lower estimate number is" limited to the household population and excludes the population living in institutions, college dormitories, and other group quarters".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


accoring to the census, (Atlanta's Census), Altanta is going from 33.2% white to 39% in only 4 years. And going from 61.4% to 54.2% black in only 4 years? Do you think ATL's cultural background will change?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Now to answer your reply. EastsideResider I don't think this change in demographics for Atlanta proper spells a change for the cultural background of Atlanta. You must understand that as Atlanta goes through major gentrification, certain segments of Atlanta proper's demographics will change. It's just becoming more half and half than just one race. Diversity of great I think.

Also you must understand that this change does not signify blacks fleeing Atlanta metro. Many are moving to near suburbs to the city. AWe have heard about white flight before but Atlanta even went through a period of black flight of it's middle/upper class. They weren't running from a race of people but were running towards a certain lifestyle that was in suburbia. Areas of Atlanta such as Lithonia on the eastside and the Greater Cascade area have seen an explosion in population....especially of the middle and upper middle class blacks. These areas are within an easy drive of the CBD.

To another point, Atlanta has also made a note to "beautify" the center city. There have been many housing developments leveled in the city limits since right before the Olympics. Many of these locations have been replaced by developments that are out of the reach of many of the displaced citizens. As Teshadoh said on another thread, he and his wife are young urban professionals who moved to the center city and where they now lived once housed 10 people. Chances are those 10 people were probably black...not saying they were, just chances are.

This will continue. Atlanta's black middle and upper class right now are favoring suburbia to living in the city center. Ironically enough however, these suburbs aren't really that far from downtown. I don't think that the change in Atlanta's proper demographics will spell a major change for Atlanta's cultural flavor for a long while to come. Politically you may start to see some changes in the racial makeup of the Atlanta city council but I don't think that will mean going from democrat to republican.

That's just my take on the matter.

p.s.- I just scrolled down and saw Urbansoutherner's post. I could have saved myself the time typing all this. I agree with much of what he said.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

While the specific numbers may be questionable, I do not doubt the trend. The 2000 census showed a significant drop in the African-American population from the 1990 census (I think 67% to 61%, but I did not check the exact numbers), most of it presumable coming in the later part of the decade post-Olympics. Living in Atlanta, I am amazed at how little real discussion there is of this trend. It is like everyone knows it is occurring, but it's such a sensitive topic, that nobody wants to start discussing it or its implications.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

There was considerable news coverage when the 2000 census figures were reported. Not completely taboo, but you are right - it isn't discussed as much. But lower income people are leaving the city due to gentrification, which the majority being Black. On the other hand, Blacks in Atlanta have also becoming more prosperous - leading to a larger middle class that do typically live in the suburbs. So there are two indirect & direct correlations going on in Atlanta, Blacks are leaving Atlanta b/c they either a) the homes they rent are being sold to wealthier people and/or B) they are improving economically and are moving to middle class areas in the suburbs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As Teshadoh said on another thread, he and his wife are young urban professionals who moved to the center city and where they now lived once housed 10 people. Chances are those 10 people were probably black...not saying they were, just chances are.

Not that I'm replying b/c I disagree with that assumption, but b/c the circumstances are interesting enough to mention. I live just outside Cabbagetown, which has been an demographic oddity for decades in Atlanta. A poverty stricken inner city neighborhood of predominately white people. In most cases, you would be right - but it's hard to imagine, in my neighborhood there are cases of black gentrifiers moving into homes where poor whites lived!

Urbansoutherner - you know, maybe the figures are correct. Demographers have not had the liberty to track & forecast cities where significant gentrification has occured. Again - the household units have increased in Atlanta, so it isn't a matter of decline. But that families are moving out & are replaced with wealthier but smaller families, will of course lower the population. What was assumed though was that additional infill developments & condos would stabilize that population.

I'm a bit cautious what type of changes will occur, I do have to say you are correct that the ramifications have not been properly addressed.

... but then maybe that is why you hear more about a Atlanta / south Fulton consolidation ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another thought came to me & I have been unable to find any comparable cities. What are other majority black cities that are undergoing major gentrification, with a declining black population? Which household units have increased, indicating a rise in new construction & renovation - but the population has decreased.

In fact - why not discuss the concept of Atlanta losing that many people, how does a smaller yet wealthier population manage? Welfare resources are diminished of course, as is school funding & tax revenues increase with higher home prices (as the $85k increase shows).

Politically, I do still see Atlanta being a liberal city, arguably more liberal in some cases, as many poor blacks that are democrats are typically more moderate than middle / upper income whites that are democrats. Also as has been the case with Franklin winning mayorship & Bonds winning council presidency - there is an increasing level of business participation. Which historically was avoided by black politicians, such as Maynard Jackson (though through the 70's & 80's with very good reason).

Council seats have already been redistricted to mark the changes from 2000, this will be even more significant as pro-welfare council people are replaced with pro-corporate council people.

Quite a bit to discuss...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


I cannot think of any that are exactly comparable. I know Washington, D.C., has a shrinking black population in terms of percentage due to gentrification, but I think that the overall population is actually still shrinking too in contrasts to Atlanta. And Atlanta is more affordable than Washington. Still, Washington may be the most similar city in terms of all the dynamics.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Funny you say that - I was just reviewing a few cities & Washington was the only comparable city, though a minimal increase in household units.

Why I wonder - again - are our population assumptions illogical? But also I noticed that practically every major city (cities that are of course bounded by non-expandable municipal boundaries) have lost population based on that source, some of them dramatically. I'm still going to question these population estimates, also - & this is going to sound odd - Census Bureau estimates are not the same as American Community Survey estimates. Weird huh?

But back on the topic again - haven't we already witnessed the changing political power structure? Franklin & Bonds were elected with heavy corporate backing. Shirley Franklin is more likely to be photographed with a CEO than a Rev. Council backed a panhandling law, infrastructure & tax allocation districts are more prominant than senior citizen centers or after school programs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

After reading the posts, the drop in population does seem like a type-o? I thought ATL was growing... around 6%

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It must be a typo because the link provided by Lady Celeste says 419,000. Not saying that is the correct one but one of them is a typo and the lower number seems unreasonable to me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think that it is pretty obvious that the black population percentage has decreased in the city-proper of Atlanta.

In fact, I'd say that the black population percentage is probably only 58% today, falling between 1-2% annually. I figure that the city will be about 50% black by the next census. On the other hand, the white percentage has increased to almost 40%. By the next census, I wouldn't doubt if the city has a white population of 45%.

The flip-side is that the inner suburbs have increased their black percentage, while the white percentage has decreased in the inner suburbs for various reasons.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow. I find this interesting, but not surprising. My uncle (who is Black) moved to the Atlanta area several years ago, specifically DeKalb County. From there he and his wife moved to Henry County. Now they reside in Rockdale County. So as you can see, they are moving further and further away from the city center. At one point, they were discussing moving into the city, but the last time I spoke with him about it, he said he didn't think so. As to why, I'm not really sure. Perhaps this is somewhat of a "mini trend" among Black professionals in the Atlanta area? I will be in Atlanta this weekend and will certainly discuss this in detail with him and his wife and get their thoughts on the matter.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

After reading the posts, the drop in population does seem like a type-o? I thought ATL was growing... around 6%

Note: The 2004 American Community Survey universe is limited to the household population and excludes the population living in institutions, college dormitories, and other group quarters.

As teshadoh posted, this is different than a census estimate. This explains the population discrepancy as well as the appearance of rapid change in black popluation. I agree that the black population is probably somewhere in the high 50's right now (wasn't it 70% at one point?).

I think this trend will accelerate in the next 5 years and its going to be very difficult to gauge all of the fluctuations until the actual census.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good point martinman - I am becoming more determined that we really won't know what is going on in terms of population & demograhic changes until 2010 census.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.