In an article about the reconcentration of poverty, the journalist includes this description of how white residents responded to more minorities moving to the suburbs:
As newly middle-class minorities moved to inner suburbs, though, the mostly white residents of those suburbs moved further away, buying up the McMansions that were being built at a rapid pace. This acceleration of white flight was especially problematic in Rust Belt towns that didn’t experience the economic boom of the mid-2000s. They were watching manufacturing and jobs move overseas.
The use of McMansions is interesting here. It could be doing three things:
1. It could simply be referring to larger houses. The size of new American homes has increased in recent decades and McMansions are often held up as the exemplar of this.
2. It could be shorthand for suburban sprawl. McMansions are often viewed as emblematic of big lots and expensive houses in whiter communities. Using the phrase McMansion here could reinforce the idea that all wealthy suburbanites live in McMansions.
3. This could be more negative as substituting “large homes” for “McMansions” doesn’t carry the same kind of negative connotations.
And for the data on the number of Americans living in neighborhoods where more than 40% of residents are under the poverty line:
The number of people living in high-poverty areas—defined as census tracts where 40 percent or more of families have income levels below the federal poverty threshold—nearly doubled between 2000 and 2013, to 13.8 million from 7.2 million, according to a new analysis of census data by Paul Jargowsky, a public-policy professor at Rutgers University-Camden and a fellow at The Century Foundation. That’s the highest number of Americans living in high-poverty neighborhoods ever recorded.
Not a good trend.