Tuesday, April 7, 2015


In the last decade, the number of blacks living in and near Harlem has decreased sharply, but the black population has increased in many other Manhattan neighborhoods, according to 1980 census figures. 

Overall, blacks in Manhattan declined from 380,000 in 1970 to 310,000 in 1980. Each of the four other boroughs gained black residents, increasing the citywide total from 1,668,000 to 1,784,000.

The changes in Manhattan have included the virtual emptying of wide areas in central Harlem and increases of a thousand or more blacks within small areas on the Upper East and West Sides, in Kips Bay and on Roosevelt Island. Harlem, the traditional ''black capital,'' is now home to only 25 percent of the blacks who live in Manhattan. In 1970, 32 percent of the borough's blacks lived in Harlem.

A variety of reasons are offered by government officials and community leaders for the changes, but the condition and availability of housing seem the most important. In some cases, they said, more blacks can now afford housing in predominantly white, middle-class neighborhoods in the city and suburbs. At the same time, they said, some of those leaving Harlem are virtual refugees who are fleeing the area's crime and decay for housing either in adjacent areas or elsewhere in the city that is only marginally better. Housing Laws Cited

-The New York Times,  May 30, 1981

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