City’s Black Population Declining

Charlottesville’s black population is shifting into the county, Stephanie Kassab writes in today’s Daily Progress. UVa’s Weldon Cooper Center‘s Qian Cai has just finished an analysis of census data and population trends, finding that the city’s black population has dropped by 756 in the past seven years; in the same period the county’s black population climbed by a strikingly coincidental 757. Cai is quick to point out that these estimates don’t tell her why this shift is taking place, only that it is happening, but it’s hard to escape the conclusion that this is the inevitable result of Charlottesville becoming an awfully expensive place to live. Mayor Dave Norris points out in that this has been the trend since the destruction of the Vinegar Hill neighborhood in the 1960s. The effect is the opposite of the white flight that has defined urban centers since the 1950s.

27 Responses to “City’s Black Population Declining”


  • I Made it #1 you made it 17th

    Is this a shocker to the “so called” liberals in this city? gentrification has been screamed at the powers that be for over 10 years but we know what happened. They might want to also look at the actual lower income flight instead of just “blacks” There are plenty of people with lesser income moving. They need real jobs in this city.

  • It has been my impression that the black population continued to grow after Vinegar Hill was raised until 2000. I suspect some blacks decided to move several years ago when the city school board announced for several times that certain children were difficult to educate because of “socio-economic reasons.” It seems the black population has been able to score higher scores as a group on the SOLs in the surrounding counties. Also, many people have gravitated towards newer construction that provides more than 1.5 baths that seems so prevalent here in the city. Perhaps the result is due to a higher median income for that group the median home sales price in the county is still higher than that in the city.
    Just some observations.

  • I remember Vinegar Hill. Some of those places were literally shacks. I guess building all of the free housing and then placing everyone on the government dole wasn’t the answer. What IS the answer after 40 years? It seems little can be done to satisfy that demographic.

    I have news for Norris, many whites that WORK for the City sure as heck can’t afford to live in CVille either. That’s why Fluvanna and Greene have grown so much.

    We’re a City of the rich surrounded by an under class with the highest poverty rate in the STATE. It might be time to focus on getting a solid MIDDLE CLASS back in the City because I don’t see Charlottesville lasting this way, unless the University buys us out.

  • “We’re a City of the rich surrounded by an under class with the highest poverty rate in the STATE. ” I would love to see the statistics that support this statement.

  • I Made it #1 you made it 17th

    Here is one link I discovered 5 years ago that the Hook did a story on about this. Yes our poverty rate is high. The dismissivness the city had with this is funny. They said it was b/c we are a college town. Well look up Roanoke and Lynchburg and see that these similar sized college towns do not have the same issues. Note Blacksburg and Harrisonburg are very high but they are essentially all college towns.

    http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/51/5114968.html

  • “It has been my impression that the black population continued to grow after Vinegar Hill was RAZED [Sorry] until 2000.”

  • 25.9 percent poverty rate my friend, higher than any other independent city in the Commonwealth. Yes, higher than Petersburg, Richmond, Norfolk, and any other city we think we are better than. Most of this is due in large part because the City has gone out of their way to make Charlottesville the welfare state of central Virginia. It’s based on the 2000 census. Read it and weep.

  • Now, we need the federal definition of “poverty” used to compute that rate as to whether it’s based upon actual income or income compared with the area’s median household income. It makes a difference. Because of the differences in the median family incomes in Albemarle and Greene for example, some people in Greene would qualify for assistance in Albemarle but not in Greene. Therefore, financially it may benefit them to move out of Greene.
    The other question is what does the poverty rate have to do with the number of black people living in an area?

  • Lt’m ll lv. f thy dn’t lk th wlfr stt th cty f Chrlttsvll hs crtd fr thm. Blcks lwys lk t ply th vctm nd thrw dwn th rc crd. fr n m trd f th nnsns.
    756 lst n svn yrs wh wld hv thght t. srt f thght tht blck ppltn hd gn p 756 yrly. pps, wrng gn!

  • Ah, I was wondering when the stereotype that all blacks are poor and all of the poor are black would finally come out. Jogger, that 25% that old timer discussed also include a substantial number of the student population that work and a substantial number of retired person who consider themselve middle class. This is a point that Meredith Richards brought up repeatedly when the city was working on its 2000 Comprephensive Plan. I’ve also noticed that its predeominantly white homeless people who are petitioning council for water fountains, job training and housing opportunities. I’ve also noticed that Maurice Cox, Eugene Williams, and Craig Barton (to name a few prominent blacks whose names have been in the news recently) seem to function above the welfare level. I would venture that a number of blacks have left city because they are tired of the looks that people who share your opinion give them on the street. Myths, perceptions and stereotypes tend to turn any rational conversation into a shallow one full of sweeping generalizations usually without substance.

  • The difference between the black and white underclass is that when the black underclass moves a statistical footprint is left. A white yuppie buys the house of a poor white- no change. A yuppie buys the house of a poor black- the numbers change. This is about gentrification plan and simple. It can’t be stopped, only delayed.

    This has happened at the hands of the most liberal democratic populations in the state, perhaps one of the most liberal in the country. It shows that when it comes to real estate, government will never beat the marketplace in a free market system.

    What happens when the private owners of Friendship court decide to take an offer from a developer for 10’s of millions. It could happen and the city council would either have to buy the land for a huge number or let it happen.

    The next census will show less African Americans and an increase in population. This will make the percentage of AA in less than before. The political wave from that reality has yet to be full acknowledged.

  • Myths, perceptions and stereotypes tend to turn any rational conversation into a shallow one full of sweeping generalizations usually without substance.

    You’re right, Cville Eye, which is why I’ve just disemvoweled Jogger’s comment. Jogger, now begins the count. Three more racist or otherwise dumb-ass comments from you and you’re gone from cvillenews.com for good.

  • I Made It #1, I checked out the link that you provided (thanks) and those were the statistics that council was discussing. The big problem is that the U.S. Census Bureaur agreed that there was about a 12% error in the city’s population count of approximately 45,000 people. They agreed that the over count was due to the canvassers’ included students living in university housing. Thus statistics that deal with age, income, education level, and housing tenure are greatly distorted. Another interest tidbit is that council discovered that the middle class neighborhood called JPA qualified, using income standards alone, for the anit-poverty funds called Community Development Block Grant Funds. The councilors agreed to not include it as an entitlement neighborhood and soon thereafter removed Starr Hill from the list. The actual census for the city that year was rolled back to closer to 40,000; however, the census bureau said it would be too expensive for them to go back and extract those households from the other calculations.

  • I Made it #1 you made it 17th

    Cville
    That sounds like some fake liberal spin there. So if there was an error here how many other cities have errors? I think that levels all this off. Just take a look around. I grew up here my whole life, my family is from here. This city has marketed, beautified and gentrified it to death. There are no “real” jobs just service jobs etc.

  • “There are no “real” jobs just service jobs etc.” There are plenty of jobs listed at the VEC and at UVA. Unfortunately, there are few people with the educational training locally to qualify for them. I don’t know of any city that is relying upon a lot of menial labor jobs to satisfy its work force. And, too, blacks moving to Albemarle County don’t have to give up their jobs.

  • Actually the errors in the census come from the fact that University property is in ALBEMARLE county. This has led to census problem because some people live inside the city limits and have Albemarle addresses.

    You can read about it in the new Hook annual manual.

  • Most University property in in the county, that is. Notable exceptions are the main hospital (“new” hospital) and about 1/10 of the John Paul Jones arena (!), which are in the city. But plenty of students do live in the city.

    The census bureau seems to barely get the job done every ten years. They are good at analyzing the data, but collecting it is troublesome. Sort of like precinct-level voting procedures.

    Did a definitive ruling ever come down on whether students answer the census at school or from their family’s home addresses?

  • I Made it #1 you made it 17th: You asked, “So if there was an error here how many other cities have errors?” I found this at http://www.tjpdc.org/pdf/rep_data_weldCoopPop02.pdf
    “*Note: due to Census error, population adjusted to include an additional 4,950, here assumed to be in the 20-24 age bracket because the undercount occurred in block groups comprising University housing”
    colfer, you asked, “Did a definitive ruling ever come down on whether students answer the census at school or from their family’s home addresses?” From http://209.85.215.104/search?q=cache:2TEjkoaFfVAJ:www.albemarle.org/upload/images/forms_center/departments/county_executive/forms/community-profile-data3a.pdf Charlottesville 2000 census error&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=5&gl=us I found this statement: “*Note: due to Census error, population adjusted to include an additional 4,950, here assumed to be in the 20-24 age bracket because the undercount occurred in block groups comprising University housing” This is the number that was subtracted from the ciyt’s total of 45,000 . It appears that the answer to your question is “yes.”

  • So if they live on-grounds, it’s one way, and off-grounds, the other way? Many years ago it was sorta left up to the student him or herself. I believe.

  • Waldo, disemvoweling and banning are these your favorite
    weapons of choice when someone has a different opinion than
    yourself or other bloggers?
    I merely put in words what many or at least some others are
    thinking.
    I would think you would want divergence of opinons. Let the
    bloggers decide for themselves whether they want to read my
    comments and respond or not.

  • I merely put in words what many or at least some others are thinking.

    Yes, yes, it’s both you and John Rocker, telling it like it is. But I’m not going to provide a forum for you to be an ass. Either suck it up, get lost, or wait for that third strike, when I’ll just deliver a cease and desist order. It’s your pick.

    Ooh, or—and this is my favorite—you could just provide me with proof of your identity and start posting under your real name. If everything you say is good and true, you shouldn’t have any problem with that. Right? Or do you lack the courage of your convictions?

  • If someone walked into my house and started saying racist and ugly things, I would ask that person to leave. Why should I have to allow my other guests to decide whether or not those kinds of utterances are acceptable in my home?

    Jogger, why don’t you get off your duff and create your own site and let people decide whether or not to read your comments there? It seems really lazy and parasitical to expect other people to host you.

  • People of all races leave the city for the same sort of reasons-cheaper housing in Albemarle or elsewhere, to be closer to job or family,etc.
    I don’t really see this as a story. Populations shift, people come and go. 750 something is not a large number compared to total area population. And certainly we have one of the most ethnically and culturally diverse populations around.The University plays a part as does the International Refugee Committee.
    Now I can agree that with the cost of living here we could definitely use some better paying jobs. Or maybe the present employers could start paying better than they do. But then that could apply to anywhere in the country, where we have top CEOS with morbidly obese compensation packages while the lower-level employees struggle to live on their salaries and pray that they don’t get downsized or their jobs sent over to India!

  • This is happening at the same time more and more residents of the city are seeking assistance in paying real estate taxes. I can only suspect there is a correlaion between the people who are actually leaving the city and the rise of the cost of living within the city when considering taxes and utlity costs. If anyone is looking for emplyment there are tons of jobs here : https://jobs.virginia.edu/applicants/jsp/shared/frameset/Frameset.jsp?time=1219682316078

  • I Made it #1 you made it 17th

    Who wants to work for the Monster cvilleI??

  • So, when people complain that there are no jobs, are they really saying that they can’t find the job they want, provided by the employer they want, in the location they want, and with the hours, salary and benefits that they want? If that is so, I doubt if that explains a population shift to the county.

  • I am native of Charlottesville. I am a college graduate who has worked for either the city of Charlottesville or the state of Virginia for the last 20 years in a professional, licensed capacity. I make pretty decent money. Due to our outrageous property taxes and almost comical real estate prices I have recently had to move to Fluvanna county in order to buy a home (a home twice the size has a tax bill almost half the size). Its not just poor blacks who are leaving, its middle class whites too.

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