Children Left Behind...

Daily reading includes the Creativity Exchange, inspired by the work of Richard Florida. Yesterday I saw this - Best and Worst Regions for Children.
Lot's of people talk about how important it is for regions to be good places for families and children. But few, if any, studies have provided detailed empirical evidence to compare cities and regions. A new study by the Harvard School of Public Health and the Center for Health Advancement has developed detailed rankings for the largest 100 metropolitan regions based upon measures of housing, neighborhood conditions, residential integration, education and health.

Worst Regions for Children...

Black Children
Buffalo-Niagara Falls, NY; Chicago, IL; Cleveland-Lorain-Elyria, OH; Fresno, CA; Jersey City, NJ; Louisville, KY; Miami, FL; Milwaukee-Waukesha, WI; Mobile, AL; New Orleans, LA; New York, NY; Rochester, NY.

Hispanic Children
Bakersfield, CA; Buffalo-Niagara Falls, NY; El Paso, TX; Fresno, CA; Hartford, CT; Los Angeles-Long Beach, CA; Milwaukee-Waukesha, WI; New York, NY; Providence-Fall River-Warwick, RI-MA; Rochester, NY; Springfield, MA; Syracuse, NY.
Yikes...I've archived the full study, here - Children Left Behind [link to .pdf]. The full set of data can be viewed here - diversitydata.org
Sent out an email last nite about this new study looking for some understanding and interpretation of the data. Frequent fixBuffalo reader, Hank Bromley, wrote back...
The numbers are certainly atrocious. For what it's worth, Buffalo-Niagara Falls isn't actually in "last place" - it just comes first alphabetically in the group of a dozen or so metro areas that were at the bottom of the rankings in economic opportunity for black kids, and likewise for Hispanic kids.

In the section of the report on the rankings (beginning on p. 30), they explain that they used the data in five areas: neighborhood poverty, proportion of households headed by single mothers, homeownership, proportion of adults without a diploma, and unemployment - all measured at the neighborhood level, not the individual family. read the rest...
I emailed Byron this morning...still no word.
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Anonymous said...

Holy shit dude, I read the same thing this morning!

There is no denying it, the Buffalo-Niagara region is one of the most segregated in the nation.

Anonymous said...

Would like to see more about the criteria used for this study. Also, I couldn't help noticing that Rochester made both lists too. As I've said, all the upstate NY cities are on the same path as Buffalo, experiencing the same problems: loss of jobs, loss of people, loss of tax base, etc. It's just a matter of Buffalo being a bit further down the path than the rest. We're all in the "plywood belt" and it's time we all got "smarter about decline". Is there any cooperative effort among these cities? They have common problems, wouldn't you think there'd be common goals, too?


Mark Williams said...

Though, I have departed Western New York, I have not left the State of New York and without glazing everyone’s eyes over by discussing what I do for a living, allow me to simply say that my work, literally, takes me across the State from Niagara Falls to NYC.

I have discovered, with the exception of NYC, every larger city in this State is in some form of decline; Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Utica, etc

I was stunned to discover that Albany is as big a dump as any other region that I have seen, most of these areas only survive because of one business; Watertown, for example, would dry-up and blow away if not for Fort Drum and, knowing how the government works, that could happen some day.

As these urban areas no longer support manufacturing the once vibrant neighborhoods are filled with poverty-stricken individuals who are either incapable or unable to depart for better opportunities. How do you explain poverty or even understand why people remain in such abject conditions?

Is it cultural?

However, the absolute worst is Niagara Falls. How this once great manufacturing city could have been allowed to slip into the abyss of urban decay is inexcusable. Considering the massive amounts of money channeled into the coffers of this city at one time only to be operating in the red today is certainly an example of its infamous governmental corruption as well.

Most people reading this have no clue as to the industry that once dotted the landscape and yes, employers leave but where did the tax money generated vanish too that these corporations paid into the city for a least a generation? It sure as hell was not used for modernization of their infra-structure or the building of governmental buildings.

Tax money generated for almost four-decades should have seen a portion of it invested for future expansion and updates but, apparently was channeled into mysteries ventures that amounted to nothing at all excepted further corruption.

Our own government has treated the city as a forgotten entity; if not for the manufacturing base of the city there would have been no end to WWII.

All that is left is the toxic residue of the Manhattan Project and very little else.

The United States Government owes a huge amount of gratitude towards the City of Niagara Falls and this should be acknowledged in the form of a massive clean-up and/or containment of the numerous brownfields that exist within the city limits. Each one of these sites would require an on-site crew for monitoring and though, small in number, this would be a source of employment.

I am digressing but the point is that nothing is going to change in New York State until the economic conditions are vastly improved.