Urban Fold

Ethnic Integration Up in Greater L.A. Suburbs

Many residents can still recount when their neighborhoods were far less ethnically diverse than their are now, which is backed by new census data showing that in most cities, the white population is down.

"Dowell Myers, USC professor of urban planning and demography, said the growing diversity in Southern California's sprawling suburbs reflects a broad breakdown of past housing discrimination."

"More common for many towns has been a gradual, blending of many ethnicities, like that occurring in the traditionally white post-World War II boomtown bedroom community of Lakewood, north of Long Beach.

There, an older-skewing white majority has slipped to 45% of the population since 2000, while the Asian population increased 17% and Latino population rose 20%. The share of black residents increased about 11%.

'When we first moved here, we were the only black family in the neighborhood,' said Tammy Sutton, 45, who moved to Lakewood from Paramount 19 years ago. A merchandiser for American Greetings, she is biracial -- her father is black and her mother is white.

'When my son started school, he was one of two black kids. Now, it's a mixture of everything.'"

Full Story: Census portrays more of a melting pot in Southern California

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