There has been quite a debate about this article which claims that the neighborhood I live in (U Street) has ‘swagger jacked’ Washington’s African-American culture.
The most thoughtful response I have read has been in The Atlantic. You can find that piece here.
I will write my own contribution to this debate but first here are some charts showing the dramatic changes that have occurred in the area.
CRIME IS DOWN
There are fewer people in poverty and more in employment and with a high school diploma
The average household income is dramatically higher
There are fewer people receiving the TANF benefit but a steady number on food stamps
There are fewer empty properties to rent and more people own their homes
There are more occupied housing units
House prices have risen dramatically
The total number of people living in the area had been declining but is now increasing
The area has gone from being a predominately black neighborhood to being a majority white neighborhood
There are far fewer households with children than there used to be. Those that do have children are much more likely to be living in poverty than previously