Minorities in America’s Wealthiest Places: A Summary

Minorities in America’s Wealthiest Places: A Summary

The bar graphs below show some interesting patterns. Asian-American are over-represented (compared to their percentage of all Americans) in every category… particularly in wealthy urban neighborhoods. African-Americans are much less likely to be found in either central cities or suburbia. Hispanics have penetrated the nations best neighborhoods more broadly and deeply than Blacks, but are still woefully under represented in America’s landscapes of wealth.

Whether one examines bastions of Liberalism such as Newton, Massachusetts or the Upper East Side of Manhattan , or citadels of Conservatism such as Mountain Brook, Alabama or Highland Park, Texas, there are precious few African-American or Hispanic households. Non-Hispanic Whites continue to dominate almost every “landscape of wealth” across the country.

African-Americans

African-American’s are the least likely to reside in the wealthiest neighborhoods in America. Although Blacks made-up 11.2% of all United States households in the 2000 Census, they only make-up 1.2% of the households in the mainly suburban Higley 1000 and strikingly, only 3.8% of the residents in central city neighborhoods. When one considers that the pool of wealthy Black households (1o2,287 households earned more than $200,000 a year in the 2000 Census) is almost as large as the number of wealthy Asian households (110,935), the question that this study points to is, where are they? There is a much research still to be done to find the geographical choices America’s wealthiest African-American households. It is clear that the geographical patterns of wealthy Africa-Americans is significantly different from Non-Hispanic Whites or Asians.

When one examines the Higley 1000, there are an astounding 478 neighborhoods where there are no African-Americans households whatsoever, and an additional 137 neighborhoods with an insignificant tally of less than 1% of all households.

Hispanic-Americans

Latinos are also much less likely to be found in America’s wealthiest neighborhoods. Although they made up 8.8% of all households in the United States, they contribute only 2.3% of the households found in the Higley 1000. Hispanics are much better represented in the 50 Urban neighborhoods studied with 5.8% of all households. Although Hispanic-Americans are more broadly found in the Higley 1000, there are still a substantial 314 places that have no Latino households, and and additional 99 places have less than 1%

The Hispanic numbers are skewed by the unusual Cuban experience in Miami. The Cuban exodus that followed Castro’s expropriation of private property in the late 50′s brought much of Cuba’s upper-middle class to the Miami area. With a socio-economic headstart that few immigrants have, Cubans have become prominent in most of Miami’s wealthy neighborhoods. Nine of the ten wealthiest Hispanic neighborhoods are found in and around the Miami area.

It is noteworthy that there are few Latino households to be found in the wealthy neighborhoods of metro areas that have large concentrations of Mexican households. Whether one examines Los Angeles, Phoenix, or Houston, Mexican representation in the Higley 1000 is minimal.

Asian-Americans

Although practically all Asian-Americans chafe at the description of being a “model minority”, they have certainly tapped into the American dream. Asian-Americans are found in the Higley 1000 to a much greater extent than the general population. Although only 2.9% of all American households were Asian in the 2000 Census, they made up 4.4% of the Higley 1000 households and are even more likely to be found in urban neighborhoods (6.5%).

Asians are heavily represented in wealthy California neighborhoods, particularly the San Francisco Bay area. Although Asians are found throughout the region, wealthy Asians are most heavily concentrated in the San Jose-Milpitas-Fremont corridor.

In spite of Asian-Americans relatively well representation in the Higley 1000, there are still 245 place with no Asians and an additional 51 places with less than 1%.

On the other hand, 118 places in the Higley 1000 were more than 10% Asian (vs. 30 Hispanic neighborhoods and a mere 12 Black neighborhoods).

Unfortunately, I was unable to breakout the various subcategories of Asians (Chinese, Indian, Hmong etc.) as these stats are only available at the Census Tract level and not at the Block Group level.

Non-Hispanic White

It will come as no surprise to anyone that Non-Hispanic White totally dominate America’s wealthiest neighborhoods and suburbs with 90.4% of all households. In fact, Non-Hispanic Whites are only in a minority of 12 places. There are 68 places that are 100% Non-Hispanic White, and 377 of the 1000 neighborhoods are more than 95% White.

What is very interesting about this study is the degree to which Non-Hispanic Whites are so dominant in urban neighborhoods as well. I was surprised to find out that they makeup 82% of urban residents in 50 of America’s wealthiest and best known city neighborhoods. Their numbers were even higher than their percentage of the entire population.

The bottom line is whether city or suburb, Non-Hispanic White dominate America’s wealthiest places.

Bar chart showing Summary by Race

Posted in Racial Diversity on May 26th, 2007, 9:54 am by Stephen Higley   

6 Responses to “Minorities in America’s Wealthiest Places: A Summary”

  1. Kathy
    September 6th, 2007 | 8:06 pm

    Where do you list the Higley 1000? The most I see is the Elite 100. I’d like to see the Mean or Median HH income for the top 25 black neighborhoods, is that data available?

  2. Brian
    September 13th, 2007 | 3:00 am

    Hi this is excellent very interesting. I think to answer you “where are all the wealthy blacks” I did not notice any neighborhoods located in Prince Georges County Maryland, which houses a large portion of upper class blacks with high median incomes. I think in the following zip codes 20716,20717,20720,207211,20775. I believe the area’s called Mitchellville, Upper Marlboro, Bowie, and Fort Washington. I’m not sure what the exact names of some of the gated neighborhoods are called etc. Please get back to me this is all very interesting stuff. I’ll definitely pick up the book.

  3. sam moore
    February 10th, 2010 | 7:45 pm

    i agree with the assertion that more research has to be done too determine the geographical area of wealthy african americans.obviously your summary is grossly misrepresented..because of past discrimination and prejudices, there is a unlikely chance you will find many wealthy african americans in areas that are considered to be traditionally white.black people tend to be more sensitive than others to certain environments,regardless of the size of their bank accounts…there will always be a few african americans in those tradionally white areas(as your summary has indicated).i would suggest looking in non traditional areas,which would include new real estate developments and old tradionally black upper middle class areas.

  4. JOE
    September 23rd, 2010 | 10:14 pm

    IN REFERENCE TO THE CUBANS, I KEEP ON HEARING THIS THING ABOUT THAT WHEN THEY CAME AFTER CASTRO THEY WERE THE MIDDLE CLASS AND SO FORTH,STOP,,STOP, CUBANS HAD BEEN COMING TO THE USA EVER SINCE CASTRO TOOK OVER, THEY COME FROM ALL WALKS OF LIFE, IN FACT 97% EITHER CAME IN THE LAST 5 TO 30 YEARS OR SO,OR WERE BORN HERE, SO THIS ELUTION ABOUT THE CUBAN MIDDLE CLASS NEEDS TO BE ELIMINATED, IN OTHER WORDS STOP TRYING TO EXCUSE THE POOR PERFORMANCE OF THE MEXICANS AND PUERTO RICAN AND OTHERS, YES FIFTY YEARS A GO, YOU MAY HAD A POINT BUT THE BAST MAJORITY OF THOSE WHO CAME IN THE 50′S ARE DEAD, SO PLEASE GIVE THE CREDIT TO THE CUBAN,THEY SIMPLY SMART, AND ABOVE ANY OTHER ETHNIC GROUP IN THE USA, TO PROBE MY POINT WHAT ABOUT WHEN CASTRO WAS IN POWER, CUBAS WAS UP THERE WITH THE MOST RICH COUNTRY’S IN THE WORLD, MEXICO, PUERTO RICO AND OTHER WERE ALREADY IN EXISTENCE, WHAT WAS THEIR PLACE COMPARE TO CUBA IN 1959,,THERE IS EXCUSE, CUBA AND CUBANS WERE ARE AND WILL ALWAYS BE A PRIDE AND INTELLIGENCE PEOPLE TO BE RECKON WITH.LOOK AT THE 2010 CENSUS,,PLEASE GIVE THE CREDIT TO THE CUBANS THEY DESERVED.

  5. Stephen Higley
    September 27th, 2010 | 9:40 am

    I, by no means, meant to take anything away from the thousands of Cubans and other Latin Americans that have succeeded by the dint of their hard work. The Historicos may be dying off, but their children and grandchildren have had the benefit of growing up in a middle class life that their parents heroically recreated from scratch in the United States.

    Still, the lack of significant majorities of Mexicans in the Higley 1000 neighborhoods in Phoenix, Los Angeles, and San Diego (and many more cities…) tells me that something special has happened with the Cubans of Southern Florida.

  6. January 19th, 2011 | 7:28 am

    finally identified someplace with some beneficial details. thanks alot and keep it coming :)

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