Thursday, June 23, 2011

Reverse migration to the South, but not to its rural reaches

This story about Blacks from the North (especially New York) returning to the South appeared earlier this week in the New York Times. Here's an excerpt with the gist of it:

The economic downturn has propelled a striking demographic shift: black New Yorkers, including many who are young and college educated, are heading south.

About 17 percent of the African-Americans who moved to the South from other states in the past decade came from New York, far more than from any other state, according to census data. Of the 44,474 who left New York State in 2009, more than half, or 22,508, went to the South, according to a study conducted by the sociology department of Queens College for The New York Times.

Dan Bilefsky's story points out that the phenomenon is not limited to New Yorkers, but that Blacks in other major cities in the East and Midwest are also heading to the South--often drawn to a less expensive, more relaxed lifestyle.

One thing that interests me about this news is that Blacks returning to the South are returning to cities--most notably Atlanta. They are not returning to the rural areas from which their ancestors often initially came when they moved to northern cities during the so-called Great Migration.

Compare this demographic news with another angle on connections between North and South for Blacks: urban Black children making extended visits to relatives in the rural South. Read more here.

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