white flight


Definition of white flight

: the departure of whites from places (such as urban neighborhoods or schools) increasingly or predominantly populated by minorities

Examples of white flight in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Once known for its cotton industry, the community has been battered by de-industrialization, white flight and a shrinking tax base. Petra Cahill, NBC News, "Facebook unveils cryptocurrency 'Libra,' more U.S. troops to Middle East & Jon Stewart: The Morning Rundown," 18 June 2019 The divides within cities nationwide are very much a product of mid-20th century white flight to the suburbs, and the inversion of that trend in recent decades as white people have flocked back to city centers. John Eligon, New York Times, "As Downtowns Prosper, Voters Ask Mayors: What About My Neighborhood?," 16 June 2019 Then came busing, and white flight, and Proposition 13, which shredded state revenue. Steve Lopez, latimes.com, "This election was a bigger rout than the Measure EE failure; readers vote 9 to 1 against columnist," 12 June 2019 This, um, white flight was concentrated at the bottom of the education ladder. Ezra Klein, Vox, "How identity politics elected Donald Trump," 5 Nov. 2018 That the black youths had driven to the county, populated in no small part by decades of white flight from the city, fueled heated exchanges online and over the airwaves. Jean Marbella, baltimoresun.com, "Baltimore County police officer's death ignites a racial firestorm," 25 May 2018 Surprisingly, the places with the most white flight were scattered across the country. Michael Harriot, The Root, "New Study Shows White People Don’t Like Living Near Black People; Captain Obvious Declines Comment," 25 Apr. 2018 As students and their parents disappeared from the district when white flight began in the late 1960s, many schools eventually closed, but equipment and supplies were left behind. Carole Carlson, Post-Tribune, "Gary's empty schools have seen vandalism, arson and neglect. Now, they're going on the real estate market.," 28 June 2018 The reaction to the riots — white flight to the suburbs and support for Frank Rizzo-style policing on steroids — created a political momentum for white backlash. Will Bunch, Philly.com, "How the chaos of 1968 set the stage for a President Donald Trump | Will Bunch," 24 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'white flight.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of white flight

1956, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

24 Jun 2019

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The first known use of white flight was in 1956

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More Definitions for white flight

white flight


English Language Learners Definition of white flight

US : an occurrence in which many white people move out of a city as more and more people of other races move in

More from Merriam-Webster on white flight

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with white flight

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to take the place or position of

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