Monday, March 31, 2008

Middle Class

It's true that given Manhattan's extremely high housing and other costs, "middle class" people are going to make a bit more money than they do in other places. But it's kind of weird how the WaPo quickly slips between "middle class" to "affluent" in describing this group of people.

Once upon a time, Manhattan was an island of adult thrills and vices. In the national imagination, it was a place of artists, musicians, socialites, Wall Street bankers -- or of hustlers, runaways, addicts, murderers. But it was not on the radar of the typical white, middle-class couple as a place to raise children.

Now demographers say Manhattan is increasingly a borough of babies, and more and more of them are white and well-off.


Indeed, according to Andrew A. Beveridge, a demographer at Queens College, the median household income for this group of children was $280,000 in 2005.

In a reversal of a decades-long trend of flight to the suburbs, affluent couples are deciding to stay, at a time when crime is low, some schools have improved and urban life has a new allure, said Kenneth T. Jackson, a professor of urban history at Columbia University.

Ultimately, though, the article isn't so much about class as it is about race. It's about white people. Which makes it quite a bit weirder.