Racial Segregation in Manhattan’s Higley 1000 Neighborhoods

Racial Segregation in Manhattan’s Higley 1000 Neighborhoods

There are few Higley 1000 neighborhoods in central cities. The two exceptions to this rule are Manhattan and San Francisco. Urban neighborhoods that are based on Block Groups are usually too heterogeneous in terms of housing options to qualify for the list. As a rule, any substantial number of rental units will bring down the mean household income of a Block Group in an urban neighborhood.

A good example of an elite urban neighborhood that did not make the Higley 1000 due to less glamorous rentals and condos amidst splendor is the Gold Coast neighborhood of Chicago. Some streets such as East Lake Shore Drive and Astor Street are uniformly exclusive. However there are high-rise condos along North Lake Shore Drive that have hundreds of units that are not in Chicago’s highest echelon (e.g. 1150,1350, 1360 & 1400) of wealth.

There are 10 Higley 1000 neighborhoods in New York City that are found on the list of the wealthiest places in America. Seven are in Manhattan and one each are found in Brooklyn (Brooklyn Heights), the Bronx (Fieldston), and Neponsit in Queens. The geography I use to identify neighborhoods for Gotham is problematic as I base my boundaries on Census Block Group geography. Undoubtedly, the 63 coops and 5 condominiums that line Fifth Avenue would be the wealthiest neighborhood in America (yes, I’m stretching the definition of neighborhood here!) However, due to Block Group geography, the statistics for these luxurious buildings are compromised by the buildings that are on the other side of the block groups, the west side of Madison Avenue.

There are 38,259 households in the seven Higley 1000 neighborhoods of Manhattan. These golden blocks make up a mere 5.2% of Manhattan’s 738,644 occupied housing units in the 2000 Census. As might be expected, the Upper East Side dominates the Manhattan statistics with 60.2% of all the households. The Upper East Side and it’s two satellites (Sutton Place and Beekman Place) are whiter than white. The households of the Upper East Side are only rivaled in their lack of diversity by the Higley 1000 neighborhoods of Fairfield County, Connecticut.

The second largest concentration of wealth in Manhattan is found on the Upper West Side. The wealthiest Block groups of the Upper West Side are hard to categorize as they consist of no less than five noncontiguous Block Groups stretching from Columbus Circle to 92nd and West End Avenue. (see the map below). These ultra Liberal neighborhoods are only moderately more integrated than the Upper East Side. Asians make up 6.5% of the households on the Higley 1000 Block Groups on the Upper West Side, however there are few Blacks (1.7%).

There are an extremely wealthy collection of Block Groups that I have dubbed Midtown Manhattan made up of a portion of the mainly commercial area south of 59th Street. With a mere 494 households (barely enough for a couple of high-rises), it is none-the-less, extraordinarily wealthy.

The downtown area is represented in the Higley 1000 by most of Tribeca. Tribeca is 7.9% Asian, a number that is significantly higher than any other of the Manhattan neighborhoods in my survey.

Map of Manhattan Higley 1000 Neighborhoods

View Larger Map of Higley 1000 Neighborhoods in Manhattan

Racial Patterns in Manhattan

Manhattan Neighborhoods

Area Population Mean Inc Households Black % Asian % Latino % White %
Upper East Side 44,831 $258,273 23,050 0.6 2.8 2.9 93.0
Upper West Side 16,823 $208,467 9,585 1.7 6.5 4.6 86.0
Sutton Place 3,430 $197,432 2,030 0.2 4.4 3.5 90.9
Tribeca 3,424 $279,572 1,467 1.0 7.9 1.5 87.0
Beekman Place 1,317 $201,623 803 0.0 1.2 5.2 93.5
West Village Waterfront 1,845 $182,049 830 5.2 6.4 4.6 83.9
Midtown 760 $434,824 494 0.0 6.1 3.2 88.9

Posted in General, Metro Briefs, Racial Diversity on Feb 5th, 2008, 5:10 pm by Stephen Higley   

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