By Randolphe E. Schmid
Of the Associated Press
August 13, 2001

    WASHINGTON--In a diverse America, two of the most racially uniform cities sit just a few miles apart in Michigan -- one white, one black.

    With 96.5 percent of its residents listing their race as white, Livonia has the highest percent of whites of any city of 100,000 or more people.

    Nearby Detroit has the second-highest percentage of blacks, 82.8 percent of its residents.

    Warren, also nearby, has the ninth-highest concentration of whites, 93.3 percent.

    "Livonia was pretty much created by the white flight and has stayed pretty much that," said demographer Kurt Metzger of Wayne State University in Detroit.

    In 1950, Livonia's population was 7,500, and by 1970, it was 110,000, he said.  Warren is an older, blue-collar city that's home to large numbers of Southern whites, Metzger added.

    Carl Haub of the private Population Reference Bureau said Detroit is "the classic example of a Northern city that had a heavy migration from the South after World War II." This was followed by white flight from the inner city during the racial tensions of the 1960s, particularly after murder of Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968, Haub added.

    In percentage of black population, only Gary, Indiana, another northern industrial city that drew large numbers of southern blacks to its factories, topped Detroit, with 85.3 percent.

    The city breakdowns were included in a pair of Census reports being issued today summarizing the geography of the black and white populations based on last year's national head count.

    Other highlights of the reports:

Diversity in the U.S.

The 10 cities of 100,000 or more with the largest percentage of white residents and the 10 with the greatest percentage of blacks, according to new Census Bureau reports.

The census allowed people to list themselves as a single race or as a mix of more than one. Thus, two figures are shown, the first for whites or blacks alone or combined with another race, and the second for those listing white or black only.

The census listed only the 20 most racially uniform cities.

  1. Livonia, 96.5 percent, 95.5 percent
  2. Cape Coral, Fla., 94.4, 93.0
  3. Boise City, Idaho, 94.4, 92.2
  4. Independence, Mo., 94.0, 91.9
  5. Scottsdale, Ariz., 93.6, 92.2
  6. Springfield, Mo., 93.5, 91.7
  7. Cedar Rapids, Iowa, 93.5, 91.9
  8. Sioux Falls, S.D., 93.4, 91.9
  9. Warren, 93.3, 91.3
  10. Manchester, N.H., 93.3, 91.7
  1. Gary, Ind., 85.3, 84.0
  2. Detroit, 82.8, 81.6
  3. Birmingham, Ala., 74.0, 73.5
  4. Jackson, Miss., 71.1, 70.6
  5. New Orleans, 67.9, 67.3
  6. Baltimore, 65.2, 64.3
  7. Atlanta, 62.1, 61.4
  8. Memphis, Tenn., 61.9, 61.4
  9. Washington, 61.3, 60.0
  10. Richmond, Va., 58.1, 57.2

Read more on the Detroit 1967 Riot (8 pages) at detnews.com


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