Mapping Bay Area’s Resegregation: What You See May Surprise You

A crowd gathered on El Camino Real to demand the Redwood City City Council limit evictions and rent hikes on Oct. 1, 2015. The cost of housing is transforming the city, once known for its relative affordability to neighboring cities in the Peninsula.

A crowd gathered on El Camino Real to demand the Redwood City City Council limit evictions and rent hikes on Oct. 1, 2015. The cost of housing is transforming the city, once known for its relative affordability to neighboring cities in the Peninsula. (Farida Jhabvala Romero/KQED)

As Bay Area cities scramble to find housing solutions to prevent displacement, a new report warns that the region is resegregating by race and class.

Urban Habitat, a nonprofit located in Oakland that focuses on equity issues, released a report this week that takes a closer look at where the demographic shifts are happening within the nine-county Bay Area, as well as Stanislaus and San Joaquin counties.

“The most dramatic increases in poverty, from a regional scale, are actually happening in suburbs and cities outside of the traditional regional center,” said Tony Samara, the Oakland-based group’s program director for land use and housing.

Between 2000 and 2014, more people have become renters, commutes have become longer and poverty in most Bay Area cities has increased, the report says.

The report contrasts with the older American narrative of white flight and concentrated affluence in the suburbs and is meant to stimulate a regional conversation about the impact of gentrification, displacement and policy.

“We talk about resegregation because we believe that despite what is, on the one hand, a very dramatic change, we’re still talking about the misallocation of resources of land and of political power on the basis of race and ethnicity,” said Samara.

Here are three images that help explain what’s happening around the Bay Area and beyond.

  1. In Most Bay Area Cities Poverty Has Been Increasing

Between 2000 and 2014, poverty increased in 106 of 117 communities in the study region that have populations over 10,000, the report says.. The darker the red in the map below, the more the poverty rate has increased.

In line with national trends, poverty in the Bay Area is in the process of migrating out from the center. Seen in this light, the growth of working-class and low-income communities of color in the outer region is the geographic expression of the new labor market, the increasing concentration of affluence in the region’s economic centers, and new forms of racial segregation. (From "Race, Inequality, and the Resegregation of the Bay Area")
‘In line with national trends, poverty in the Bay Area is in the process of migrating outward from central cities.’ (Courtesy of Urban Habitat)

2. African-American Population Increasing in ‘Outer Region’

The report says that between 2000 and 2014, the region’s African-American population declined by 22,000. All but two counties, Napa and San Joaquin, experienced overall declines. But some individual cities saw increases in their black population during the period, with bigger increases in the outer regions.

"In 2000, the greatest number of black residents lived in the inner region of the East Bay, stretching from Ashland to Vallejo. These places experienced the largest decrease in black residents between 2000-2014."
‘In 2000, the greatest number of black residents lived in the inner region of the East Bay, stretching from Ashland to Vallejo. These places experienced the largest decrease in black residents between 2000-2014.’ (Courtesy of Urban Habitat)

3. Latino Population Growth Concentrated Along the Eastern Edge

Between 2000 and 2014, the Bay Area’s Latino population grew by 474,000 residents, according to the report. There were decreases along the east and west sides of the bay in San Mateo, Alameda and Santa Clara counties, and increases in the outer regions.

"Growth was concentrated along a belt on the eastern edge of the region running north-south from the Stockton metro area in San Joaquin County, through the Modesto area, and down to Newman in Stanislaus County."
‘Growth was concentrated along a belt on the eastern edge of the
region running north-south from the Stockton metro area in San Joaquin County, through the Modesto area, and down to Newman in Stanislaus County.’ (Courtesy of Urban Habitat)

Author

Devin Katayama

Devin Katayama is a reporter covering the East Bay for KQED News. Previously, he was the education reporter for WFPL in Louisville and worked as a producer with radio stations in Chicago and Portland, OR. His work has appeared on NPR’s Morning Edition, All Things Considered, The Takeaway and Here and Now.

Devin earned his MA in Journalism from Columbia College Chicago, where he was a Follett Fellow and the recipient of the 2011 Studs Terkel Community Media Workshop Scholarship for his story on Chicago's homeless youth. He won WBUR's 2014 Daniel Schorr award and a regional RTNDA Edward R. Murrow Award for his documentary "At Risk" that looked at issues facing some of Louisville's students. Devin has also received numerous local awards from the Associated Press and the Society of Professional Journalists.

Email: dkatayama@kqed.org Twitter: @RadioDevin Website: audiocollected.org

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