I have chosen to break Westchester County into two geographical groups as there are significant differences in density and racial make up between the northern (Upper Westchester) and southern (Lower Westchester) ends of this elongated county. It is 50 miles by road from the Bronx to exurban Putnam County, and the journey stretches from the densely settled suburbs of Mount Vernon and Yonkers to the horse country estates of Bedford in the north. Upper Westchester County has more in common with Fairfield County and the Locust Valley-Oyster Bay area of Long Island than the densely populated lower part of the county.
Map of Upper Westchester County Higley 1000 Neighborhood
View a Larger Map of Higley1000 neighborhoods in Upper Westchester County
Lower Westchester varies from the densely populated and heavily minority Mount Vernon to the beautiful mansions of Scarsdale and grand waterfront estates of Rye and Larchmont. Lower Westchester is also home to the resurgent downtown of White Plains. The construction of new skycrapers in downtown White Plains has reinforced it’s role as and important “Edge City” in the Greater New York Area
Westchester’s extensive suburban development that started in the late 19th Century has continued to the present, albeit at a much lower rate due to build-out. Lower Westchester is home to approximately 25,000 of the county’s 40,000 Higley 1000 households.
As Greenwich dominates Fairfield County, Scarsdale has the richest and largest number of neighborhoods in the Higley 1000 in Westchester County. Four out of the five richest neighborhoods are found in Scarsdale including the 5th wealthiest in the country, Murray Hill-Heathcote ($402,565 Mean Household Income). There is a significant minority of Asian households in Scarsdale as well as three adjoining neighborhoods in the Greenburgh. Overall, Scarsdale is 12.6% Asian with four subgroups making up most of that population (Japanese 30.8%; Chinese 24.0%; East Indian 16.7%; and, Korean 16.4%). As typical of the entire New York City metro area, there are insignificant concentrations of African-Americans and Hispanics in the Higley 1000 neighborhoods of Westchester County.
Relatively poorer Blacks are found along the Southern border of the county in Mount Vernon (59.1% African-American) and in the county’s largest city, Yonkers (18.3%). Poor Latinos are found in significant numbers in
New Rochelle, Yonkers and Port Chester a small industrial town along the border with Connecticut. These three communities have 60.7% of Westchester’s Hispanic community.
The relatively large city of New Rochelle (72,182, 2000 Census) is home to five Higley 1000 neighborhoods that are located in what is generally referred to as “the Northend”. One of the Higley 1000 neighborhoods, Wykagyl Park-Beechmont Woods is 9.0% Black. It is the only neighborhood in all of Westchester County’s Higley 1000 places with a significant percentage of African-Americans. The New Rochelle statistics for 2010 show a strong population growth to 77,062. This population increase is the result of intensified land-use as New Rochelle is densely populated for a suburban city.
New Rochelle is socio-economically divided between a poorer, largely Hispanic southern section (with the exception of the waterfront properties) and the much wealthier “Anglo” Northend. The dichotomy could not be more stark: The median household income of the Hispanics in the South Central New Rochelle is $39,780 vs. $126,480 for the largely White population in the Wikagyl Zipcode of the Northend.
Map of Lower Westchester County
View a Larger Map of Higley1000 Neighborhoods in Lower Westchester County
This recent article on Salon, “Segregation in the Land of Limousine Liberalism“, illustrate’s Westchester’s continued struggles with segregation.