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White flight in the United StatesWhite flight has been taking place in many American cities and even regions, especially in the Northeastern, Midwestern, and Western sections of the United States since the 1950s.The effects of white flight have been significant for the cities that have been hit by this phenomenon, especially Detroit, Michigan and St. Louis, Missouri, which lost more than half of their peak populations largely due to white flight. In New York City many whites have moved from parts of the Bronx and Brooklyn to Staten Island or suburban Long Island and suburban New Jersey. Other U.S. cities that have been noticeably affected by white flight include Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Cleveland, Ohio, the West and South Sides of Chicago, Illinois, the Greater Los Angeles Area (in inner suburbs such as Compton and Inglewood in the mid-20th century and in many other places since then - see "White flight in Southern California" below), Baltimore, Maryland, Newark, New Jersey, and numerous smaller cities.HistoryIn the years after World War II, whites —many of whom were the children and grandchildren of immigrants—began to move away from inner core cities to newer suburban communities. Major cities had experienced tight housing markets during the war years, and an influx of African Americans seeking war work. Whites with the means to leave did so in some cases to escape the increasing crime and racial tension in inner cities throughout the country but, in other locations in the immediate postwar years, many whites left core cities because they believed that suburban communities, with their new housing stock, roads and schools, were more desirable places to live than the inner cities.Prior to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, due to racist real-estate covenants and other discriminatory practices, non-white people were almost always not afforded the same opportunities to move away from the cities, even when they may have been economically able to do so.As wealthier white residents abandoned the inner city neighborhoods, they ultimately left behind increasingly poor non-white populations whose neighborhoods rapidly deteriorated, beginning in the 1950s and especially in the 1960s. Whites took their tax dollars with them, abandoning the cities to the poorest Americans. Jobs and businesses disintegrated along with the neighborhoods and ultimately turned the increasingly poverty-stricken areas into crime-ridden slums with failing and dilapidated public schools.An important element of this migration of well-to-do whites was the availability of federally-subsidized home mortgages (VA, FHA, HOLC) which made it possible for white families to buy cheap, new homes in suburbs--but not to buy apartments in cities. State and federal governments also subsidized white flight by paying for highways to carry suburbanites to work in cities (the National Defense and Interstate Highway Act and its successors) and by changing tax codes to benefit suburban "minimal cities" ("the Lakewood Plan").It should be noted that several predominantly poorer white communities also face conditions similar to those of areas that have experienced white flight. The cities of Buffalo and Niagara Falls in New York serve as prime examples. In these areas, manufacturing jobs were once dominant but have now largely disappeared, resulting in urban decay.