14 May 2009

Racial Integration Progressing In Denver

In metropolitan Denver, racial and ethnic minority populations are growing at rates significantly faster than the total population in the suburbs, while Denver proper, which once was home to most of the state's African-Americans has seen a decline in its African-American population. The end result is greater racial integration in the Denver metropolitan area, at least at the county level.

Arapahoe County, a first ring suburb to the South and East of Denver is a notable example of the general trend:

The census report shows that almost all of Arapahoe County's growth since 2000 has come from the surge in the minority population. During that time, the county's white population grew less than 1 percent compared with a 70 percent growth in the Latino population and a 37 percent rise in the black population.
Nine years ago, three out of four faces in Arapahoe County, home to most of Aurora, were white. Today, it is two out of three . . . .

[In its] Cherry Creek School District. . . the percentage of minority students has risen from 12 percent to 40 percent in the past decade. School officials expect half of the students to come from minority backgrounds by 2012. . . .

In Denver, the growth in the minority population slowed this decade. The black population actually fell almost 10 percent between 2000 and 2008, while the white population grew by 5 percent[.]

Much of this is driven by the availability of affordable housing in Arapahoe County, coupled with reduced racial discrimination in housing in new developments and the gentrification of previously affordable Denver neighborhoods, as centrally located, high density housing regains popularity.

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