13 July 2009

Colorado Baby Factories

In-fill neighborhoods like Stapleton and Lowry are baby factories and largely white and middle class.

From here.

The larger article discussed the changing demographics of metro Denver public schools.

The 15 districts that make up the metro area — from Douglas County to St. Vrain — added 62,661 students between 2000 to 2008, and 55,950 of those were minorities. On average, about 81 percent were Latino, 8.6 percent African-American and nearly 11 percent Asian.

The trend throughout Colorado and the nation is because of immigration and babies born to minority populations that are younger and have higher birthrates than whites, said Elizabeth Garner, state demographer.

"A lot of it is due to the migration in the 1990s," Garner said. "Those are basically folks who moved here and started having kids in 1995 through 2003. It's like a second wave."

Describing "added students" as if they were an actual discrete group of students, rather than a statistical concept is somewhat deceptive. In fact, many more students have been added to and left the fifteen districts in the relevant time period. But, it does dramatically illustrate the concept that Latino, African-American and Asian youth populations are growing much more rapidly than non-Hispanic white youth populations in the metro area, accompanied by gentrification of the central city.

The story also accurately illustrates the relatively recent and increasing ethnic and racial integration of metropolitan Denver's suburbs.

Among the interesting factoids:

Cherry Creek's overall enrollment this decade grew by 20 percent, and all of that growth was from minority students. The student population is now 37 percent minority and is expected to reach 50 percent by 2012.

Six metro-area school districts now have more minority students than white students: Denver, Aurora, Sheridan, Mapleton, Westminster 50 and Adams 14 in Commerce City.

Ten of the 15 districts posted a net loss of white students this decade, including Jefferson County Public Schools — the state's largest district — which saw white enrollment decline by 9,000 students. Aurora lost almost 4,000 white students and Westminster lost almost 3,000 white students.

Take away the increase of white students in Douglas County — which added 16,941 white students this decade — and there would have been an overall decline in the number of white students in the metro area. . . .

The statistics suggest that some of the minority students in suburban districts might have left Denver to get there or chosen the suburb over Denver.

More white students are entering Denver schools, especially in the early grades, than at any time in the past decade.

First-grade enrollment, for example, was 25.5 percent white in 2008, compared with 18 percent five years before. Kindergarten was 27.3 percent white in 2008, compared with 18.7 percent in 2003.

Seven metro-area school districts added more minority students than Denver: Adams 12, Brighton, Cherry Creek, Aurora, St. Vrain, Douglas County and Jefferson County. . . .

Denver's black student population has fallen by 11 percent since 2000.

Denver is the only district in the metro area with an increasing percentage of non-Hispanic white children, although that percentage 22.8% is lowest in the metropolitan area other than the 15.3% in Adams County 14, and it had the lowest percentage of non-Hispanic white children in 2000. Almost 30% of children in Denver do not attend the Denver Public Schools, with the numbers rising higher in higher grade levels.

While the "baby factory" term is used in good humor in the article to describe neighborhoods popular with families settling down to have children (with reference mostly to useage applied to suburban neighborhoods during the American baby boom after World War II), with no offense intended, real life and fictional baby farms are often not bucolic paradises.

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