This article is from the archive of our partner National Journal

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.

5. Miami

+ In Miami, the suburban Black population has grown by more than 183,000. (Joe Raedle / Getty Images)

4. Dallas

+ Enrollment of Black students in Dallas Independent School District fell by nearly a third around 2010, while suburbs saw a growth. (Ronald Martinez / Getty Images)

3. Washington, D.C.

+ Washington, D.C. is one area where gentrification is playing a much heavier role in the growth of Black suburbs than perhaps other cities, Frey says. (SAUL LOEB / Getty Images)

2. Houston

+ In data taken from the U.S. Census, Frey found that by 2010 the Black suburban population had grown by about 217,000. (Scott Halleran / Getty Images)

1. Atlanta

+ By 2010, almost 90 percent of Atlanta's Black population lived in its suburbs. (Barry Williams / Getty Images)

5. Miami

+ In Miami, the suburban Black population has grown by more than 183,000. (Joe Raedle / Getty Images)

4. Dallas

+ Enrollment of Black students in Dallas Independent School District fell by nearly a third around 2010, while suburbs saw a growth. (Ronald Martinez / Getty Images)

3. Washington, D.C.

+ Washington, D.C. is one area where gentrification is playing a much heavier role in the growth of Black suburbs than perhaps other cities, Frey says. (SAUL LOEB / Getty Images)

2. Houston

+ In data taken from the U.S. Census, Frey found that by 2010 the Black suburban population had grown by about 217,000. (Scott Halleran / Getty Images)

1. Atlanta

+ By 2010, almost 90 percent of Atlanta's Black population lived in its suburbs. (Barry Williams / Getty Images)

This article is from the archive of our partner National Journal.