White flight

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White flight

White flight is a term for the migration of European peoples away from areas with non-European populations. It can refer to migration both inside a country and between countries.


United States

In the United States, large scale White flight may have started with the mechanization of agriculture, which caused many Blacks to move from southern rural districts to inner city areas. This was accompanied by a White migration to the suburbs. The patterns were strongest during the 1940s and the following decades. Studies have suggested that the White flight was caused by increased concentration of racial minorities and the poor, increased crime, and fiscal mismanagement. In some cases, those who migrated lived in all-White enclaves with little contact with the Blacks in their immediate neighborhoods. These people may have been worried by changes in local politics caused by the changed electorate in the cities. During the 1960s and 1970s, desegregation of schools was another reason for leaving. Improved transportation due to road building and the automobile also contributed. A 2010 study found that each immigration of a Black caused an emigration of 2.7 Whites.[1]

"Blockbusting" was a business practice of U.S. real estate agents and building developers meant to encourage White property owners to sell their houses at a loss, by implying that racial minorities were moving into their previously racially segregated neighborhood, thus depressing real estate property values. Blockbusting became possible after World War II, after the legislative and judicial dismantling of earlier legally protected racially segregated real estate practices.

Different mathematical models have been proposed to explain the patterns of racial/ethnic residential segregation and White flight. The "checkerboard model" is a spatial model which suggests that if there exists only modest average preferences for living with the own race/ethnicity, then this will in the end cause almost complete residential segregation – a "checkerboard" geographic pattern. "The tipping model" is a temporal model which suggests that if a disliked group in an area grows beyond a "tipping point", then this causes a relatively quick chain reaction which causes almost all of the other group to leave the area. Those most strongly objecting leave first, but this then makes the situation more difficult for those remaining, who therefore also leave after a while. It has been argued that the models can be combined.[2]

See the article on Detroit on an often mentioned example of White flight.

School White flight

A related behavior is White students leaving schools with large numbers of non-White students.

Sports White flight

An NBA team owner in 2014 announced his intent to sell his controlling interest after an "offensive" email which stated that "When digging into why our season ticket base is so small, I was told it is because we can't get the 35-55 white males and corporations to buy season [tickets] and they are the primary [demographic] for season tickets around the league," he wrote in a message to other team executives back in August 2012. "My theory is that the black crowd scared away the whites and there are simply not enough affluent black fans to build a significant season ticket base."[3]

Other areas

White flight is not limited to the US.

An early example is Haiti, with many Whites fleeing a Black slave revolution inspired by the French Revolution. In 1804, the remaining White population was killed in a genocide. Today Haiti, which still has an unusually high Black percentage of the population for a country outside of Africa, is one of the world's poorest countries and the poorest in the Americas region.

In the United Kingdom, Britain's largest foreign visa consultancy firm released figures in 2007 stating that as many as 4,000 Britons per week were applying for foreign visas. Ten years earlier the figure was 300 per week. Almost all were young professionals and skilled workers in the age 20-40. Many cited as their reason the mass immigration and the burden it was placing on their communities and local authorities. The dearth of good schools, spiraling house prices, rising crime and tax increases were also driving people away.[4]

A 2016 report stated that, despite the mass immigration, White and minority groups in the UK were more isolated from each other than ever before and that racial segregation had risen 'strikingly' in just 10 years. White populations in towns and cities were dwindling at record levels and in extreme cases had halved in a decade.[5]

Another example is White flight (and East Asian flight) from Brazil in response to widespread crime. There is also widespread racial segregation regarding neighborhoods. This also applies to persons having similar incomes and also between Blacks and Mulattoes.[6]

The term has also been applied to the large scale migrations of European people from Africa. One million Whites ("Pied-Noirs") left Algeria after the independence in 1962. After the independence of Angola and Mozambique, 95% of the Whites in both countries left. Kenya become independent in 1963. By the end of the decade, more than half the original White population of sixty thousand had left. The White population in Zimbabwe have dropped from 296,000 in 1975 to 30,000 in 2010.[7]

In 1959, before independence, there were around 90,000 Belgians in Belgian Congo. Most have left. In some cases they had to be evacuated by the Belgian military and a United Nations intervention force due to anti-White violence.[8]

According to a report from 2009, about 800,000 out of an earlier total population of 4 millions Whites had left South Africa since 1995. The primary driver was fear of crime. Other causes included attacks against White farmers, affirmative action programs, mismanagement of the energy sector which has caused rolling brownouts, and worries about corruption and autocratic political tendencies. Also many people from other racial groups were expressing a desire to leave. Since many of those who leave are highly educated this has caused shortages of skilled personal and fear of long-term consequences.[9]

South African organizations such as the Suidlanders expect a catastrophic situation in the near future for Whites as well as associated large scale White flight.

See also

External links




New Zealand

United Kingdom

United States


  1. Leah Platt Boustan, 2010. "Was Postwar Suburbanization "White Flight"? Evidence from the Black Migration," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 125(1), pages 417-443, February. http://www.nber.org/papers/w13543
  2. Zhang, J. (2011), TIPPING AND RESIDENTIAL SEGREGATION: A UNIFIED SCHELLING MODEL. Journal of Regional Science, 51: 167–193. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9787.2010.00671.x
  3. Bill Cohen and Chris Herring. Atlanta Hawks Owner to Sell After 'Offensive' Email. Updated Sept. 7, 2014 7:43 p.m. ET. Wall Street Journal. http://www.wsj.com/articles/atlanta-hawks-owner-to-sell-in-wake-of-offensive-email-1410107014
  4. Michael Knapp. "4,000 People a Week Trying to Leave UK" Daily Express,UK News, August 5, 2007. http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/15642/4,000-people-a-week-trying-to-leave-UK
  5. Britain's white flight: Report reveals how racial segregation has risen 'strikingly' in just 10 years - with numbers of whites in some areas down by up to HALF http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3895772/White-ethnic-communities-growing-apart-towns-cities.html
  6. Richard Lynn. The Global Bell Curve. 2008. Washington Summit Publishers.
  7. (Almost) Out of Africa: The White Tribes, World Affairs Journal, Joshua Hammer, May/June 2010. http://www.worldaffairsjournal.org/article/almost-out-africa-white-tribes
  8. Belgian Congo https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Belgian_Congo&oldid=771846288
  9. Fleeing From South Africa, Newsweek, Scott Johnson February 14, 2009 http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2009/02/13/fleeing-from-south-africa.html
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