Fayetteville Becoming More Integrated

The Washington Post has a story up contending that while the United States is becoming more and more diverse in terms of racial make up, cities remain heavily segregated.  In sum, there are entrenched racial lines (often falling along major roadways) creating “cities” within “cities” of different racial groups.

For example, Washington D.C.:

D.C.

I decided to examine Fayetteville.  The article features a search tool (scroll to the bottom) where you can check the racial make up of your community by population density.  It shows that from 1990 to 2016 Fayetteville and Cumberland County became more integrated.

In 1990, you can clearly make out the racial boundaries in the city:

1990

By 2010, as our population grew, change was evident:

2000

By 2016, we were even more integrated:

2016

Many of the old lines still exist, but they are not as clearly defined as they used to be.  You can easily see that we are not the same community that we were back then.

However, we have remained divided in our politics.  City and county-wide races frequently pit “two Fayettevilles” against themselves.  Candidates have been known to exploit this division to their advantage.  This causes more tension and stifles progress.

The two-decade trend of integration may serve to alleviate this problem.  We’ve come a long way, and we’ve still got a ways to go, but it seems that unlike the rest of the country, we’re heading in the right direction.

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