Two charts showing the growing racial and ethnic diversity in the American suburbs

William Frey of the The Brookings Institutions analyzes 2020 Census data and shows the suburbs are increasingly diverse in terms of race and ethnicity. One chart:

The percent of Asian Americans, Latinos or Hispanics, and Blacks living in the suburbs has increased every decade since the 1980s. The percent of whites living in the suburbs has stayed stable.

A second chart looks at the racial and ethnic changes across different kinds of suburbs:

While the first chart showed increasing diversity in suburbs in general, this one helps show that this racial and ethnic diversity is not evenly distributed across kinds of suburbs. Even as the percent of white residents is decreasing in all kinds of suburbs, high-density suburbs have the most racial and ethnic diversity followed by mature suburbs.

Frey sums up his analysis this way:

Among those of a certain age, the term “suburban America” conjures up the image of mostly white, middle-class, politically conservative developments, differing sharply from a more racially diverse urban America. But the 2020 census places an exclamation point on the fact that suburbs now reflect the nation’s demographics, with respect to racial make-up and most likely on related dimensions of class and politics.

The growth of America’s suburbs embodies the nation’s population growth, accompanied by greater diversity due to the in-migration of new and long-standing minorities from nearby cities, from other parts of the country, and from abroad, as well as a rising multicultural youth population as families of color—like their earlier white counterparts—find the suburbs an ideal destination for raising children and forming new communities. From this perspective, the suburbs, perhaps more than anywhere else, are symbolic of America’s rising diversity. 

Complex suburbia continues.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s