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It’s not news that the suburbs are changing. Mom works, Dad may be at home, and kids, when they’re not strapped into their car seats, are scheduled  to the max.

But there are other changes as well, as documented in this Washington Post interactive map tracking racial changes in the ‘burbs. The map allows you to see the mix of people in the region as well as in various census tracts.

It also shows change since 1990, and not surprisingly, some places change very little. The quick pattern I see is that most tracts are less exclusively white than they used to be, but overall patterns in the region are the same.

As the Post points out, it’s still rare for whites to move into minority neighborhoods, but the acceptance of people who look different is widespread. Maybe the suburbs have the effect of evening out differences. Everyone is there for the good schools and the backyards.

Check out your zip code and meet the new neighbors.


3 Responses to “Where (and Who) Do You Live?”

  1. Matthew @ Unique Home Plans

    The interactive map was interesting to play with! Here in the 90703 area, we see the spread of the Hispanic and Asian populations. In the Southern California area, we can see the White population stay dense in the coastal areas.

  2. claudia kousoulas

    The patterns in every city are different, probably based on geography as well as demographics.

    In DC, neighborhood character seems to follow the main radial roads out of the city. High income neighborhoods in Upper Northwest continue into Montgomery County, marked by country clubs and upscale shooping. On the other side of the city, more modest neighborhoods continue out into Prince George’s County.

  3. GK

    Several patterns of transition are notable.

    One is that change ofter occurs along corridors, as opposed to radiating out evenly. Growth and disinvestment occur along vectors, the radials out of DC that you mention.

    Another is that change happens without regard to political boundaries: a city might have been composed of all kinds of demographics, but over time this demographic pattern swells and overshoots fixed political boundaries, leaving a city with a not as well-rounded demographic pattern. An area may appear to be changing dramatically, but certain populations are just bubbling over into the next boundary. This is not an issue if a boundary is an arbitrary definition. It is if the boundary defines the limits of taxation.

    Finally, pockets of desirability will persist as neighboring ares shift more dramatically. Eddys of Affluence. The areas around Bethesda typifies this in the changes seen over several decades on the site you link.