The city of Chicago is known for a lot of things such as amazing deep dish pizza, the Sears ( we mean Willis) Tower, and a crazy amount of gun violence in recent years. Now it has been determined that Chicago is pretty high on the list of segregated cities in the United States. Although racial segregation in city neighborhoods has declined, the city still remains the number three most segregated city in the country, following behind Milwaukee and New York City.
Many African Americans are choosing to move to different suburbs of Chicago, while whites and Latinos are moving into neighborhoods that have been known for being predominantly African American. Neighborhoods are becoming much more culturally diverse, but there are still a high number of segregated locations. This has been going on for a long time. Census data shows that the average white resident lives in a Chicago neighborhood where 71.5 percent of the residents are also white. This number is down from a 2000 report, as other races have moved into these communities. Similarly, African American residents live in neighborhoods where 64 percent of residents are also African American.
A person’s income, education level, and occupation all play an important role in racial segregation. There was a separate report with data about different racial groups in the city. Whites actually represent the minority of the Chicago population. They were the only group to see an increase in income, by 52 percent, from 1990 to 2012. Compare this number with 13 percent for African Americans and 15 percent for Latinos. Several of these segregated communities are some of the poorest in the state. Poor community members struggling for money might apply for payday loans or auto title loans in Chicago, while others lead a dangerous lifestyle of hustling money to make ends meet. It seems as though racial and financial segregation in Chicago go hand in hand. Because of these types of living situations, you see more and more African Americans moving out of the city and into surrounding suburbs of Chicago.
Even though Chicago is still high on the list of segregated cities in the United States, housing trends show Chicago is experiencing integration. As an example, the South Loop in the city was once majority African American and now the area is seeing integration of different races, largely due to development in the area. Towns like Oak Park and Evanston have made great strides as there has been a government effort to integrate. Chicago is more integrated than it was 30 years ago, but the city will have to wait to see if this trend is one that will last long-term. It is the hope of many that integration will help to break down social and economic barriers that currently exist. Because of the large amount of gun violence taking place in the city, integration might help to decrease some of this violence, which is one of the major issues the city plans to tackle in 2016.