Monday, August 25

Making sense of population decline

Charlottesville's Daily Progress has reported on some noteworthy demographic census data just released, specifically that the African American population in the city is in decline. The actual drop has only been around 1% in the last year, which could be viewed as statistically insignificant (researcher Qian Cai was quick to point out that these numbers are estimates) if it were not for the fact that a similar rate of decline has been going on for seven years. Sure, nothing cataclysmic is happening, but a slow trickle is definitely worth keeping an eye on, especially for those who value a diverse environment and the rich cultural traditions attached to a place.

This would seem to be the results of gentrification happening here, as it is happening to other cities around the country. At least that's how mayor Dave Norris is interpreting the numbers. As those who have the ability to choose where they want to live decide to live in city centers, the ones who more at the mercy of market forces get pushed out. That's the simple story, but the details are pretty complex to sort out.


J.W. said...

Hey Daniel,
Have you read Eric Jacobsen's Sidewalks in the Kingdom: New Urbanism and the Christian Faith? Seems like it would be worth checking out.

Daniel Nairn said...

I have. Eric was actually the pastor of my church back in Missoula.

J.W. said...

Wow, what kind of church was that?

Daniel Nairn said...

It was first presbyterian church near downtown Missoula. Eric wrote Sidewalks while an associate pastor there, but he went on to be a senior pastor of a church in Tacoma, WA.

By the way, I would highly recommend the book. You'll be pretty well acquainted with a lot of the ideas he presents.