Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: May 28, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963930 | Print ISBN: 9781412941655 | Online ISBN: 9781412963930| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Danielle M. Jackson
The term white flight refers to the phenomenon of whites, usually upper and middle class, rapidly moving out of cities and into suburbs as blacks and other minorities move in. The result is residential segregation that leaves cities poorer and minority residents stranded in the city center. This demographic change strains the fiscal resources of central city governments, leaving inner-city residents with the prospect of increased taxes, diminished public services, and higher levels of unemployment. While white flight may also occur when the newcomers are Latinos/as, other immigrants, and on rare occasions, Asians, white flight happens more often, more rapidly, and more completely when the incoming group is black. First used to describe the massive demographic shifts that took place in the period just after World War II, white flight has also occurred since then, particularly in cities throughout the northeastern, midwestern, and western United States. From 1914 to 1960, ...