Fridley among Metro-area Suburbs Labeled Racially Diverse in U of M Study

Op-ed in StarTribune highlights Fridley and Columbia Heights.

Fridley and Columbia Heights are mentioned in an op-ed by Myron Orfield about suburbs achieving greater racial diversity that appeared in Sunday's Star Tribune

Integrated suburbs represent some of the nation's greatest hopes and its gravest challenges. The rapidly growing diversity of the United States, which is reflected in the rapid changes seen in suburban communities, suggests a degree of declining racial bias and at least the partial success of fair-housing laws.

Yet the fragile demographic stability in these newly integrated suburbs—as well as the rise of poor, virtually nonwhite suburbs—presents serious challenges for local, state and federal governments.

Locally, in 2000, 5 percent of the population of the Twin Cities region lived in diverse suburbs. By 2010, that number had jumped to 23 percent. There were 29 suburban municipalities in the Twin Cities that qualified as "diverse suburbs" in 2010. Many of these areas are in the midst of rapid racial change.

For instance, the nonwhite share of the population increased by more than 20 percentage points between 2000 and 2010 in Brooklyn Center, Columbia Heights and Brooklyn Park. The change was more than 15 points in Fridley, Richfield, Shakopee and Maplewood. Overall, the nonwhite share of the population in the Twin Cities' 29 diverse suburbs increased by more than 13 percentage points on average between 2000 and 2010, the fourth-highest rate among the country's 50 largest metropolitan areas.

The article is based on a new report from the Institute on Metropolitan Opportunity at the University of Minnesota Law School, where Orfield is director.

See the PDFs with this post for:

  • The full report, "America's Racially Diverse Suburbs: Opportunities and Challenges"
  • Graphs highlighting aspects of diversity in the Twin Cities metro area



Jahn Citizen July 23, 2012 at 06:08 PM
Diversity is good, but to what end? Jobs, housing, schools, and infrastructure are resources that have limits to accommodate a growing population, whatever the race. Public policy and government agencies that put out an open call to migrate to a small city like Fridley, especially when the incentive is social services and section 8 housing, puts a strain on city resources and does a disservice to new and old residents, alike. Migration should be a natural occurance based on individual interests and integration into a community, not incentivised by benefits given away by a city council to appear "diverse." Jahn Q. Citizen
Pam Reynolds July 23, 2012 at 09:16 PM
Well said sir, well said!
Shirley Pedersen July 23, 2012 at 09:47 PM
keep up their properties, yards, dogs, and have children play in playgrounds which are two blocks away rather than the streets all day. If they rent they do not take care of the property. Most of them are on welfare and have at least 4 different families in a small home. Then when they leave it has to be redone because it is such a mess. I am talking about two rentals in my area which has been going on for about 5 yrs. Drug dealers, prostitutes and other ... Pray and hope a nice family no matter what color move in as long as they are responsible.
Dave Miller July 24, 2012 at 04:19 AM
Lived next door to a black family in early 2000,they were the nicest people as were we. they both worked,had 2 great teenage kids, and respected everybody. they had the chance to get help constantly from many gov. entities but turned them all down,said, they had to prove to there kids that you can make it on your own without the gov. and they hated,just hated the term"african americans" they liked the term"minnesota americans" thats just the way they were...


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