In the last decade, the white population has exceeded the black population in the area.
Over the past decade, the racial makeup of the area directly west of Main Campus has changed a significant amount, according to recently released 2010 census data.
The two census tracts, both of which run from Broad Street west to 19th Street – tracts 147 and 153 – show a significant increase in the percentage of people who identified as a race other than black and Native American, since 2000.
The percentage of blacks, the majority group at the time of the new millennium, saw a decrease of 27 percent in tract 147 and a decrease of 24 percent in tract 153. Similarly, the total number of Native Americans saw a decrease of 33 percent in both tracts.
Tract 147, which runs from Jefferson Street to Montgomery Avenue, saw an increase of 5,038 percent in the number of whites in the community. Likewise, the number of people who identified as Asian, multiracial or Hispanic has also increased, 1,407 percent, 918 percent and 354 percent, respectively.
Meanwhile, in tract 153, which runs from Montgomery Avenue to Susquehanna Avenue, the percentage of whites rose 758 percent. Like its neighboring tract, 147, the percent of Asians, multiracial and Hispanics have increased in tract 153 – 216 percent, 182 percent and 187 percent, respectively.
David Elesh, an associate professor of sociology, linked the changes in the racial breakdown to the fact that Temple students continue to move into the community.
“I don’t think that either number is terribly surprising. The increase in the white population is largely due to Temple students moving into apartments in the area since the late [1990s,]” Elesh said in an email. “Temple students now live from Girard [Avenue] to Susquehanna [Avenue] and as far west as 20th Street.”
Some results of the influx of students moving into the community, Elesh said, may include improved security in the neighborhoods due to Temple’s police presence, interaction between students and community members and improved housing stock.
Still, whites and blacks make up the overwhelming majority of the community in the two tracts. In tract 147, whites make up for 44 percent of the population, while blacks make up 42 percent. In tract 153, whites and blacks each make up 45 percent of the population.
The overall populations – 3,939 in tract 147 and 4,962 in tract 153 – grew 68.5 percent and 46.7 percent, respectively, over the past 10 years.
Angelo Fichera can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.