Washington D.C. once known as chocolate city because of its large population of African Americans is losing that title.
In the last decade, the number of African Americans living in the District declined by 11 percent, according to statistics released by the U.S. Census Bureau and the white population jumped by 31 percent in the past decade, bringing debate over gentrification, where wealthier, mostly whites have a acquired property in the city, and working class, mostly blacks are being pushed out.
And the increase of the affluent population has made low-income residents, mostly blacks who rent, nervous. According to the Brookings Institution about 38 percent of blacks were homeowners in 2009, compared with 56 percent of whites. Some of the poorer residents see revitalization as code for efforts to drive them out, and the new efforts being made by city leaders to build dog parks and streetcar lanes as efforts by well to do whites to re-arrange spending priorities to suit themselves.
Many prominent black leaders argue that the city is more diverse than ever, with more to do, and less crime and a bigger tax base.
Because of the city’s demographic changes, many people are pointing to gentrification as the reason why crime has decreased over the past decade in Washington D.C. saying violent crime tends to be higher in poorer neighborhoods, and since the poorer community is leaving, the demographic changes have left D.C. a wealthier city with less crime.
City law requires developers to set aside a portion of new residential space for lower-income people. Still many experts believe in another decade there will be an even greater change in the nations capitol with even fewer blacks than there are now.