SOC 143A: Urban Society
May 2, 2018
Los Angeles: Is It Really the City Of Angels?
Ever since I was a little kid, I always dream of living in Los Angeles one day. In my mind, Los Angeles represents California because it has beautiful beaches, sunshine and Disneyland. Los Angeles is an incredibly diverse city, home to people from over 140 countries who speak 224 languages that have been identified. Ethnic communities like Korea Town, Chinatown, Thai Town, Little Ethiopia and Little Tokyo show what a multilingual and cultural city Los Angeles is today. However, the City of Angels is still a segregated city after all these years. The city overall is becoming less diverse and more segregated by income. Gentrification is a large factor in this change as inner-city properties are increasing in value and demand.
The Los Angeles has the second-largest population in the United States. During the past twenty years, significant demographic changes have occurred both in terms of population growth and loss. By using the Social Explorer, I had a chance to look at both White and Black population changes in the past twenty years. According to the Census, the percentage of Whites, not Hispanics or Latinos in Los Angeles county was 40.83% in 1990, 31.09% in 2000 and 27.79% in 2010. The percentage of Blacks or African Americans, not Hispanics or Latinos was 10.55% in 1990, 9.47% in 2000 and 8.30% in 2010. We know that every metropolitan area in the nation is racially segregated, and maps from the appendix show us that Los Angeles is no exception. Whites mostly lived by the west part of Los Angeles over the past twenty years and Blacks are jam-packed in the middle part of the city. The 2010 Census data shows that more than 80% of Los Angeles African Americans live in neighborhoods where a few Whites are present. Over the years, Whites decrease was widespread. There is a massive White depopulation happening in the south part of the city. The total population of Whites dropped about 30 percent in twenty years. According to the Census, Whites were replaced by minor ethnic groups like Latinos, Asians, and Blacks. Black segregation continued to weaken. According to Census 2000 data, the southwestern part of Los Angeles such as Inglewood was pretty concentrated with Blacks, 75 percent of the population were African Americans. However, the data dropped to 40 percent in 2010, especially as Latinos moved into former Black enclaves and Blacks moved to suburbs.
The interesting thing about Los Angeles compared to other large cities in the United States is the distribution of wealth throughout the cities. There are many cities that are associated with Los Angeles but are not quite like Los Angeles such as Beverly Hills and Hollywood Hills that hold high amounts of wealth. The poverty maps of Los Angeles city do not tend to show a concentration of wealth or poor that can be seen in many other cities. Los Angeles poor areas didn’t change m...