File this under the costs of big blue: over at Center for Opportunity Urbanism, Joel Kotkin and Wendell Cox have published a report arguing that those cities which claim to be most progressive, diverse, and tolerant actually create an environment with high costs of living and few economic opportunities. This dynamic drives ethnic minority populations to greener pastures in the south and west, where low costs of living mingle with flourishing job prospects:
African Americans appear to be moving once again, but this time primarily to cities, many in the south, the very region they exited in huge numbers during the last century. Increasingly, they, as well as Latino and Asian households seeking a better future, are moving to opportunity cities. Between 2000 and 2013, the African American population of Atlanta, Charlotte, Orlando, Houston, Dallas-Fort Worth, Raleigh, Tampa-St. Petersburg and San Antonio all experienced growth of close to 40 percent or higher, well above the average of 27 percent for the 52 metropolitan areas […]For Latinos, now the nation’s largest ethnic minority, nine of the top 13 places are held by cities wholly or partially in the old Confederacy, led by #1 Jacksonville, Florida. Current state projections in Texas indicate that Latinos will outnumber Anglos by 2025. The majority of newcomers to the South, notes a recent Pew study, are classic first-wave immigrants: young, 57 percent foreign born and not well educated; but they see the South as their land of opportunity.
Asians, the fastest-growing minority group in America today, are following a similar trajectory. The report calls housing “the critical difference”, noting that homeownership is far more affordable in the south and the west than in the areas minorities are fleeing.The whole thing is worth a read. Blue cities talk a big game about their progressive values, but in the end, minorities are voting with their feet—and fleeing the bluest cities in huge numbers.