Boston Rambles

Boston Rambles

A Rambler Walks and Talks About the Hub of the Universe

Racial Composition of Precincts along the Upper Road to Braintree

The following unwieldy table is an attempt to summarize the 2010 Census for the specific precincts through which the Upper Road to Braintree passes. This chart is meant to accompany the previous entry, Taking the High Road in Roxbury and Dorchester. My intention is merely to highlight the fact that the road passes through neighborhoods that are for the most part largely non-white. Usage of the census categories defining race does not imply some implicit acceptance of these somewhat artificial identifications; I understand the limitations of these narrow categories. However the correlation between race and income serves as a rough proxy for discussion of class, a subject that many Americans find uncomfortable to discuss. Unsurprisingly these same areas through which the road passes are also some of the poorest neighborhoods in Boston.

These categories are merely a way to interpret the obvious: That racial segregation, whatever the reason, still exists in Boston. For example, fully 1 in 10 people in the state of Massachusetts who identify as Black or Mixed Race lives along the 4.6 mile route that I described in the previous entry. This area makes up about 10% of Boston’s area, or about 5 square miles. This is about 0.06% of the total land area of Massachusetts. To put this in perspective the ‘Black’ population density along the Upper Road to Braintree is over 7,000 per square mile. The ‘Black’ population density of the remaining 99.94% of the state is 45 residents per square mile, and this includes ALL the other neighborhoods in Boston that are predominantly black that do NOT touch the road I have described! In other words, I am describing only the precincts through which I walked, but there are still 100,000 more people who identify as Black living in other precincts in Boston, roughly a quarter of the remaining Black population in Massachusetts. This map is pretty illuminating.

By comparison, less than 0.1% of the White population of Massachusetts lives along the same route.This data includes the first (9-4, which is an extension of Northeastern University) and the last precinct (17-13, the neighborhood including Lower Mills) through which the road passes which are overwhelmingly the ‘whitest’ precincts along the walk. Subtracting these two precincts alone removes half of the already small White resident population along this route. The total of 3400 White residents of the remaining 24 precincts along the route described is fewer than the number of White residents in one Boston precinct alone, Ward 3, Precinct 6, the precinct covering City Hall and most of Downtown Boston. This precinct has 4485 White residents out of a total of 5643 residents, or 80% of the total. The number of Black residents is 246, 4% of the total, a number less than half as large as any of the precincts along the Upper Road to Braintree.

Perhaps it is no surprise to state that segregation remains an issue in Boston. However, walking through a neighborhood where the only faces like your own that you see are the police, construction workers, gas workers, electricians etc. is still disconcerting. When people in areas such as my neighborhood, pat themselves on the back as they talk about what an integrated neighborhood we live in, I want to pull out this data and slap it down in front of them. My neighborhood, according to the same Census data I have been quoting, is 77% White and 7% Black. We have a long way to go….

NeighborhoodWard:Precinct in order through which the road passesTotal
Population
White
Population
%White- not hispanicBlack
Population
%Black-
not hispanic
Hispanic
Population
%HispanicAsian
Population
%AsianSome other race or two or more races%Some other race/Two or more racesAmerican Indian/Pacific Islander% American Indian/Pacific IslanderPercentage total
RoxburyWard 9 Precinct 45358225142.0%129824.2%122322.8%4288.0%1392.6%190.4%100.0%
RoxburyWard 8 Precinct 4999242.4%52652.7%37137.1%131.3%606.0%50.5%100.0%
RoxburyWard 9 Precinct 529042468.5%170758.8%71724.7%612.1%1565.4%170.6%100.0%
RoxburyWard 12 Precinct 12407893.7%174472.5%44318.4%381.6%823.4%110.5%100.0%
RoxburyWard 12 Precinct 41693492.9%109964.9%42325.0%30.2%1086.4%110.6%100.0%
RoxburyWard 12 Precinct 51217171.4%87972.2%27722.8%10.1%363.0%70.6%100.0%
RoxburyWard 12 Precinct 61147242.1%85874.8%19817.3%111.0%494.3%70.6%100.0%
RoxburyWard 12 Precinct 23282511.6%218866.7%86126.2%250.8%1454.4%120.4%100.0%
RoxburyWard 12 Precinct 91563291.9%102465.5%41726.7%221.4%624.0%90.6%100.0%
RoxburyWard 12 Precinct 743171894.4%261060.5%136231.5%240.6%1152.7%170.4%100.0%
Roxbury/DorchesterWard 14 Precinct 14288641.5%243556.8%148534.6%501.2%2445.7%100.2%100.0%
Roxbury/DorchesterWard 14 Precinct 32180251.1%136362.5%67030.7%281.3%703.2%241.1%100.0%
DorchesterWard 14 Precinct 42403532.2%162467.6%57624.0%200.8%1205.0%100.4%100.0%
DorchesterWard 14 Precinct 61692513.0%122972.6%34820.6%60.4%543.2%40.2%100.0%
DorchesterWard 14 Precinct 23818611.6%281473.7%70518.5%140.4%2025.3%220.6%100.0%
DorchesterWard 17 Precinct 11861573.1%129169.4%37820.3%40.2%1276.8%40.2%100.0%
DorchesterWard 17 Precinct 3271830311.1%180366.3%42215.5%491.8%1355.0%60.2%100.0%
DorchesterWard 17 Precinct 51394261.9%97169.7%32023.0%211.5%493.5%70.5%100.0%
DorchesterWard 17 Precinct 6193635618.4%95849.5%29215.1%1839.5%1367.0%110.6%100.0%
DorchesterWard 17 Precinct 81789693.9%131573.5%32117.9%120.7%703.9%20.1%100.0%
DorchesterWard 17 Precinct 9128144334.6%55443.2%13910.9%735.7%695.4%30.2%100.0%
DorchesterWard 17 Precinct 102580843.3%203879.0%31312.1%160.6%1254.8%40.2%100.0%
DorchesterWard 17 Precinct 11996969.6%66767.0%10810.8%575.7%676.7%10.1%100.0%
DorchesterWard 17 Precinct 4272554620.0%158858.3%2228.1%2097.7%1465.4%140.5%100.0%
DorchesterWard 17 Precinct 14177543824.7%104558.9%1458.2%824.6%653.7%00.0%100.0%
DorchesterWard 17 Precinct 13183290449.3%54229.6%1317.2%1608.7%935.1%20.1%100.0%
Totals26 Precincts60155654510.9%3617060.1%1286721.4%16102.7%27244.5%2390.4%100.0%
Boston Total254 Precincts61759429031247.0%13807322.4%10791717.5%548468.9%250374.1%14090.2%100.0%
Massachusetts TotalStatewide6547629498480076.1%3916936.0%6276549.6%3474955.3%1837422.8%122450.2%100.0%
Road Total as % Boston total9.7%2.3%26.2%11.9%2.9%10.9%17.0%
Road Total as % State Total0.9%0.1%9.2%2.1%0.5%1.5%2.0%

 

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