PART II: SELECTION OF METRO AREAS AND MINORITY NEIGHBORHOODS.
- Selection of the 16 metro areas..
In selecting the metro areas for this study, the Banking Research Project sought metro areas with large minority populations. As shown in Table 1, the metro areas chosen include the top ten metropolitan areas in the United States in terms of minority population. Based on 1980 Census data, the 16 metro areas included in the study contained 37.7 percent of the total U.S. Black population and 40.0 percent of the total U.S. Hispanic population. According to 1990 Census data, the 16 metro areas contained 38.3 percent of total Black population and 40.4 percent of total Hispanic population.
In delimiting the geographic scope of each metro area, the Banking Research Project relied on the metro area boundary definitions developed by the U.S. Census Bureau. The column labeled Census Status in Table 1 indicates the Census Bureau definition employed throughout this report for each metro area in the study. The term Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area (PMSA) means that a metro area is part of a larger Consolidated Metropolitan Statistical Area (CMSA), while the term Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) indicates that a metro area is not part of a larger CMSA. The Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS) Code is the number used to identify the MSA for data processing purposes.
All of the Census data and HMDA data statistics employed in this report were calculated on the basis of the metro area boundary definitions shown in Table 1. Similarly, the maps prepared for the report generally focus on the same metro area boundaries. In a number of instances, however, rather than showing the full metro area, the maps in this study zoom in to provide a sharper focus on minority neighborhoods located within central cities and surrounding inner suburbs. Also, in the case of several metro areas, one or two outlying counties were missing from the computerized map coverages and thus are not shown in the maps.
- Definition of minority neighborhood.
Given the study's focus on racial redlining, the size and geographic location of the minority neighborhoods within each of the 16 metro areas carries great importance. Table 2 shows the percentage of the total population of each metro area that resides within minority neighborhoods. In constructing Table 2 (and frequently throughout this report), two alternative definitions of minority neighborhoods were employed.
The second definition (50 percent or more minority) results in a broader geographic area which encompasses all of the neighborhoods falling within the first definition (75 percent or more minority). Under either definition, minority neighborhoods contain a major share of the total metro area population in most of the 16 metro areas studied, as Table 2 shows.
- High minority areas or neighborhoods (i.e., a high level of minority population concentration) are census tracts in which minorities comprise 75 percent or more of the census tract population.
- Minority areas or neighborhoods are census tracts in which minorities comprise 50 percent or more of the census tract population.
For each metro area, Table 2 also shows the percentage of the Black population that resides within minority neighborhoods and the percentage of the Hispanic population that resides within minority neighborhoods. The Census uses the term "Black"; this study shall use African American and Black interchangeably.