In his book, Diversity Explosion, William H. Frey found that in cities like Detroit, Chicago, and New York, where decades earlier Blacks had moved to escape the South, the Black population has seen big declines. Because census data doesn't show migration patterns, Frey says you can't definitively draw a line from city to suburb. But you can put those numbers — declines in cities, gains in suburbs — beside each other and tease out a fairly straightforward conclusion.
Much of the focus for the influx of Blacks into suburbs has been on rising cost of real estate in cities and the younger generation's desire to live near their city jobs. This has been labeled "Black flight," which seems to suggest that Blacks don't have a choice in the matter. But the reality is more nuanced, Frey says. "Gentrification can be part of it," says Frey, who's also a demographer at the Brookings Institution. "But this is really a benchmark of a new movement for Blacks."
One possible answer is that the White population is old and getting older. Meanwhile, the median age of Blacks in the country is 32. In that sense, the suburbs still serve young families, it's just the typical young family has changed.
Below are the five U.S. cities with the fastest-growing Black suburban populations.