last posts

What It Means for the City and the Reasons Black Families Are Departing from New York

Many families cite one reason why black children in particular are leaving the city: it has gotten too expensive to raise kids here.

Many families cite one reason why black children in particular are leaving the city: it has gotten too expensive to raise kids here.

Athenia Rodney is an example of the higher mobility that Black Americans were originally promised by New York City. She graduated from public schools, spent her formative years in Brooklyn's predominately Black areas, and received a full scholarship to a liberal arts institution. She later launched her own event organizing company in the city.

However, when her own family grew, Ms. Rodney herself herself in a small one-bedroom apartment where her three kids slept on a bunk bed in the living room. It was challenging to enroll them in activities that exposed them to nature or swimming lessons. The answer became more obvious as she went through friends' social media photos showcasing trampolines in roomy Georgia backyards: leave.

The family purchased a five-bedroom house in Snellville, Georgia, last summer.

I thought it was getting harder and harder to raise a family in New York," Ms. Rodney said.

The Rodney family is one of several Black New Yorkers leaving the city. The number of Black citizens fell between 2010 and 2020, a decade in which the city's demographics surprised observers by growing populations of Asian and Hispanic people. The drop coincided with a widespread movement of seniors, middle-class families, and younger Black professionals from the Northeast and Midwest to the South.

In the last 20 years, or roughly 200,000 individuals, or around 9 percent fewer Black people lived in the city. According to the most recent census statistics, around one in five citizens are non-Hispanic Black now compared to one in four in 2000.

The number of Black children and teens residing in the city decreased by more than 19% between 2010 and 2020, with the youngest New Yorkers seeing the worst loss. According to data on student enrolment, the reduction is still there. All demographic groups have lost students at schools, but the decline in Black students' enrollment has been significantly greater due to the exodus of their families and the decline in Black women's birthrate.

Families like the Rodneys are being driven out of the city for a variety of reasons, such as poor school performance, a desire to live nearer to family, and difficult urban living circumstances. The rising cost of raising a family in New York, however, was cited as the primary explanation by the majority of people contacted for this story.

Font Size
lines height