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White-to-black ratio nearly even in Youngstown



Published: Fri, March 11, 2011 @ 12:01 a.m.

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"YOU DO GET A SENSE OF IT NOW IF YOU GO THROUGH THE NEIGHBORHOODS AND SEE WHERE ALL THE VACANT HOMES ARE. I REMEMBER CLEARLY A TIME WHEN THERE WERE NO VACANT HOMES.” - Sylvester D. Patton Jr., South Side resident

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TO SEE HOW MUCH EVERYTHING IS GOING DOWN IS DISTURBING. I THINK IT’S PART OF WHAT’S CAUSING THE CRIME AND VIOLENCE.” - Tyrone Chatman, South Side resident.

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By DAVID SKOLNICK

skolnick@vindy.com

By ELISE FRANCO

efranco@vindy.com

YOUNGSTOWN

Though fewer people were living in Youngstown and Warren in 2010 compared to 10 years earlier, blacks made up a larger percentage of those cities’ total population.

Meanwhile, the Mahoning Valley’s suburbs and rural communities remain overwhelmingly white. The population of several townships are at least 97 percent white, according to an analysis by The Vindicator of U.S. Census Bureau figures.

More than 10,000 whites and about 5,500 blacks left Youngstown between 2000 and 2010, dropping the city’s population from 82,026 to 66,982.

Whites now make up 47 percent of the city’s population, with blacks being 45.2 percent.

The 1.8 percent difference between the two races is the closest in Youngstown’s history, and the first time whites make up less than half the city’s population. In 2000, whites were 50.9 percent of Youngstown’s population compared to 43.8 percent for blacks.

Larger numbers of blacks tend to live in urban areas, where housing is typically less expensive such as Youngstown and Warren, said Thomas Finnerty, associate director of Youngstown State University’s Center for Urban and Regional Studies.

“The fact is poverty is concentrated in the Valley by race,” he said. “It isn’t to say all minorities are poor. When you have a class of people less able to move, they are more likely to be left behind. We’re seeing a money flight. It’s more economics than race. There’s a concentration of black poverty in Youngstown, and it’s been a historic trend since they started counting people.”

Arlette Gatewood, 82, born and raised in Youngstown, said he’s not at all surprised by the new census statistics.

“The opportunities aren’t here for young people anymore, so they have to go away,” he said. “What’s left is a dependent population, both old and young.”

Gatewood, who lives on the city’s East Side, said though many people living in Youngstown stay because they have to, a secure pension allows him to stay because he wants to.

“In the era I grew up in, jobs were plentiful,” he said. “I worked as a business agent for Youngstown Sheet & Tube, and received a good pension, so it was easy for me to stay here.”

Sylvester D. Patton Jr., 61, the only black person ever elected to the Ohio House from Youngstown, said the exodus of people during the past 10 years has much to do with a lack of good jobs in the city.

“The job situation here is definitely a deterrent because there’s no room for employment for our offspring,” he said.

Patton, a South Side resident, said it’s easy to overlook how many people have really left in the last decade until the numbers are right in front of you.

“You do get a sense of it now if you go through the neighborhoods and see where all the vacant homes are,” he said. “I remember clearly a time when there were no vacant homes.”

Tyrone Chatman, 40, who lives on the South Side, said he has also experienced the changes in Youngstown.

“To see how much everything is going down is disturbing,” he said. “I think it’s part of what’s causing the crime and violence.”

Chatman said the city needs to decrease crime and increase jobs to draw people back in, but in order to do that, people who still live in Youngstown need to put more focus on their children.

“It’s really the main problem, the youth and how they’re coming up,” he said. “The problem isn’t going to go away, but more focus on it could help break it down.”

Whites made up 79.9 percent of Mahoning County’s population in 2010, down from 81 percent in 2000. Blacks saw a modest decrease in the county’s population to 15.7 percent in 2010 from 15.9 percent in 2000.

The rest are categorized by the Census Bureau as Latino, Asian, American Indian and Alaska native, native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander, some other race, or two or more races.

Of all blacks in Mahoning County in 2010, 80.1 percent live in Youngstown. That’s down from 87.9 percent in 2000.

OTHER AREAS

Two suburbs that border Youngstown saw increases in their black population.

Austintown’s percentage went from 5.1 percent in 2000 to 6.1 percent in 2010.

Boardman’s black population more than doubled from 2.6 percent in 2000 to 5.9 percent in 2010.

“With houses more affordable in the suburbs, more minorities with money are moving there,” said Finnerty, who added that some are deciding to stay in urban cities.

Also, Campbell’s black population increased from 16.7 percent in 2000 to 21.2 percent last year.

Besides Austintown and Boardman, the county’s 12 other townships have white populations of at least 97 percent.

Berlin is 98.4 percent white with only six blacks and 33 other minorities. Ellsworth is 99.1 percent white with two blacks and 19 other minorities.

The village of Poland is 98.5 percent white with six blacks and 33 other minorities.

Also, there are seven blacks in Goshen, 15 in Green, 12 in Jackson, three in Lowellville, four in Milton, two in New Middletown, 11 in Sebring and three in Beloit, according to census figures.

TRUMBULL COUNTY

In Trumbull County, the percentage of whites in terms of total population dropped from 90.2 percent in 2000 to 89 percent in 2010. The black population during that same time frame increased from 7.9 percent to 8.3 percent.

About two-thirds of the county’s black population live in Warren.

That city saw its black population increase from 25.2 percent in 2000 to 27.7 percent last year.

In several townships in Trumbull County, the black population is virtually nonexistent. Sixteen of its 25 townships have white populations of at least 97 percent.

According to census figures, there are eight blacks in Bristol, three in Farmington, seven in Fowler, five in Greene, eight in Gustavus, six in Hartford, seven in Johnston, 10 in Kinsman and three in Vernon.

COLUMBIANA COUNTY

In Columbiana County, the white population declined from 96.4 percent in 2000 to 95.5 percent last year, but the black population remained steady at 2.2 percent.

Fewer than 10 blacks live in six of the county’s 18 townships. Also, all 408 residents of the village of Hanoverton are white and only two of the village of New Waterford’s 1,238 residents are black, the census figures show.


Comments

1Tigerlily(495 comments)posted 3 years, 8 months ago

God, this is a terrible area to be a black person in. I am not black, and I am grateful for that in this white of all white regions!

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2UnionForever(1470 comments)posted 3 years, 8 months ago

Lack of jobs means people have to leave this area to live. Youngstown has the double whammy of high crime rates as well. Did anyone expect anything different from the census - population loss? More white people left because they have resources and can. Poverty is a bad thing - just keep voting for those Democrats Mahoning Valley and the population will dwindle down even more over time and the pverty gets worse along the way..

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3MattMarzula(109 comments)posted 3 years, 8 months ago

I specifically moved back here because I kept hearing that jobs were on the rise and housing was affordable. Then I bought the proverbial farm and sunk my hard earned money and heart into this area. Race? Crime rates? It's all numbers and skewed statistics. Jobs and education are the issues, and our state is not only cutting back on both but also breaking all the promises from 4 years ago that made me consider rejoining this economically crippled area.

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4annaakita(15 comments)posted 3 years, 8 months ago

Ok.....so STOP WITH THE MINORITY CRAP!

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5henryviii1509(274 comments)posted 3 years, 8 months ago

The only comments here directed at "minorities" are coming FROM minorities...

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6Lifes2Short(3878 comments)posted 3 years, 8 months ago

How come the majority of people are working, paying there bills and such, living modest, they have to be working somewhere. Go out on the weekends and 224 and local restaurants, especially on Friday and Saturday nights, are bustling. Traffic is modest on morning/evening rush hours, where these people going? There are a lot of newer cars with temp tags on, have to be working somewhere.
Can't understand how people complain there are no jobs and such but there living modestly.
It's what you want out of life not what excuses you come up with.
Cut the crime and violence from the trouble areas and things will pick up.

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7Iwannamove(61 comments)posted 3 years, 8 months ago

Hey Union Forever its not the democrats that put us in poverty its your buddy Georgie boy that did this we were great under Clinton.

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81970mach1(1005 comments)posted 3 years, 8 months ago

I remember clearly a time when 60 year old men would not wear ear rings unless they were a pirate.

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9Morrigan(83 comments)posted 3 years, 8 months ago

"I remember clearly a time when 60 year old men would not wear ear rings unless they were a pirate."

@1970mach1 Thanks for that laugh this morning!

Sad, isn't it, to see the mass exodus? I left in the 80's and came back 10 years later because of family. My graduating class had about 400 students. You'd be lucky to find that many in the entire school now.

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10Amber222(4 comments)posted 3 years, 8 months ago

Save 20% off all Revol Phones Online. Use Promo Code: REVOLWEB20 www.revol.com

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11Lifes2Short(3878 comments)posted 3 years, 8 months ago

1970

"I remember clearly a time when 60 year old men would not wear ear rings unless they were a pirate."

LMAO! That is good!

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12JME(801 comments)posted 3 years, 8 months ago

Lifes2Short,

Regarding your post about jobs in the area, many people who live here and spend their money on 224 may be working in Cleveland and Pittsburgh, but choose to live in the Valley because of the low cost-of-living. Myself, I work out of Pittsburgh when not traveling for work. I also have two brother-in-laws who live in the area and work in Cleveland.
I wonder how many people who live in the area work out of town. Unless your in education, police/fire, law, medical, etc. (essentially the service sector), most are probably forced to commute.

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13redvert(2094 comments)posted 3 years, 8 months ago

Iwannamove, the democrats have controlled this area for the last 50-60 years and things have been going downhill since back in the 50's. You mentioned that things were great under Clinton. I guess it was due to the democrats* controlling congress and spending during the majority of his two terms, right???

You say one thing but even your forum name says another!!!

I don't know if things will get better in Youngstown. The same people that have voted straight democrat for generations will continue to do so. "When nothing changes, nothing changes"

Do I believe that all republicans elected would be a change for the better, well yes in the short term but in the long run a good mix would benefit this area. Will it happen, I doubt it!

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14VINDYAK(1799 comments)posted 3 years, 8 months ago

The exodus is sad. We all want to live in good, safe and proud neighborhoods. Pretty difficult to find that today. The way we raise our children is one huge factor. All children are born as angels, but their environment turns many into devils. The challenge to correct this is nearly impossible now. That is why people move. It is far easier to give up and start over somewhere else. All those vacant houses indicate many, many people took huge financial losses. They may be happier now, or they may be worse, but the real story is they are gone.

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15redvert(2094 comments)posted 3 years, 8 months ago

I seem to remember that back in the 50's I would go with my parents when they voted. If I am not mistaken the voting booths used levers to vote for each candidate Pubs on one side dems on the other. At the top of each side, was a big lever for all democrats and one for all republicans. People would close the curtain and then you would hear a big "clunk, clunk" and then out they came. One "clunk clunk" for each side and those two votes meant nothing. The same habits still happens today. It is only 10% of the voters who actually make the decisions, in most places.

I don't see people in the city ever understanding that things have to change in order to get better.

My two favorite sayings are: "when nothing changes, nothing changes"

Insanity: "doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results"

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16moneymoney(21 comments)posted 3 years, 8 months ago

If the white-black population is split in Youngstown, then why are Youngstown's public schools nearly 100% black? Can you imagine the national uproar if there were a town of Youngstown's size with the same racial make-up, but where blacks were almost completely excluded from public education? The National Guard would be brought in to escort black students to class.

Youngstown will never succeed until it can provide a non-racist public school system that is open to everyone. Why would any hard-working person pay taxes to live in a city where they can't even send their kids to the public schools? They pay for those schools. They should be able to use them.

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17ValleyNative(174 comments)posted 3 years, 8 months ago

WHITE FLIGHT!!!

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18ComeOnMan(17 comments)posted 3 years, 8 months ago

We keep moving away and they keep following us.

It's a shame driving through those old neighborhoods looking at how they maintain their holmes and raise their kids.

Rentals and Section 8 killed the city.

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19Stan(9923 comments)posted 3 years, 8 months ago

"More than 10,000 whites and about 5,500 blacks left Youngstown between 2000 and 2010, dropping the city’s population from 82,026 to 66,982."

Did most of them get evicted and run out of town for not paying their rent ? Blight is caused by insufficent monies to do repairs .So now many homes are vacant ? Well, it's all good in tha hood !

If we can't employ the masses then let's give them free public housing with free utilities so that they can continue to do their thing . Yes I know, Youngstown is already a Utopia but there is alway a chance that it may get better .

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20tonne(199 comments)posted 3 years, 8 months ago

It's the crime and violence that's causing everything to do down, not the other way around, Tyrone. Mr. Patton, I remember when there were no vacant homes in Youngtown, too, but that was more than 40 years ago when the mills were still going strong, downtown was a vibrant commercial mecca and people still had good paying jobs. No one wants to live in a dying city, black, white, green or purple. Those who can have been getting out for years. The people who say we need good jobs, less crime and leaders who care more about us than themselves and are willing to make changes in the way things are done are right on. The problems in Youngstown have less to do with race and more to do with corruption and maintaining the status quo. The city has a black mayor, for God's sake, and what has he done that's so great?

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21DOLE2(594 comments)posted 3 years, 8 months ago

I remember when 60 year old men didn't wear shorts and a T shirt to WalMart in January wearing sandles.

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22redvert(2094 comments)posted 3 years, 8 months ago

I'm sorry, all my "big boy" pants were in the wash!

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