News

Race and ethnicity map shows increasing gentrification of northwest Denver

"I'm a map guy," says Brian Timoney of The Timoney Group. So when he saw the gusher of data from the 2010 census, he couldn't resist putting together a color-coded map showing the racial and ethnic changes that have taken place from Pueblo to Fort Collins over the past decade. As for Denver, he says major shifts have taken place in the northwest part of the city.

"Those are the big trends," Timoney says. "I'm a resident in northwest Denver, and the increased white presence east of Federal Boulevard -- between Federal and I-25 -- shows that a huge amount of gentrification has happened."

Timoney stresses that he has no agenda in regard to the data shown on the map -- but he can certainly perceive its potential public policy implications. Consider that "Council District 1 actually lost population, while the rest of the city grew by something like 8 percent. And that's because the dynamic is changing, with working-class Hispanic households with lots of people in them being displaced by white households with relatively few people in them. So we saw not only a population shift, but an ethnic shift.

"From a political standpoint, the really fascinating pattern is the African-American presence in the City of Denver, which has become less concentrated," he continues. "If you look at neighborhoods like Park Hill, North Park Hill and the areas above City Park, you see that they're much more mixed. And a large part of Denver's population growth is taking place in the far northeast, in places like Montbello and Green Valley Ranch, where a lot of the new construction has taken place. There's a huge increase in the Hispanic presence there."

The Piton Foundation noted the rising Hispanic population, especially in suburbs that surround metro Denver, in a series of reports made public a few weeks back; to check it out, click here. "You can definitely see that in our map, too," Timoney points out. "And it shows that Aurora is probably our most diverse city."

Timoney encourages people to "draw their own conclusions" from the map, which is completely interactive, allowing users to check out the demographics on a block-by-block basis. To access it, click here.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts