white flight


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

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Furthermore, Lewis-Patrick said, no discussion of regionalization is complete without considering that the suburbs of cities such as Baltimore and Detroit grew by way of white flight. Christine Condon, Baltimore Sun, 1 Mar. 2023 Redlining, racially restrictive housing covenants and zoning laws, real estate agents who steered potential home buyers to specific neighborhoods and government investments in suburbs, which hastened white flight, all contribute to present-day segregation in the area. Evan Casey, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 19 May 2021 Subsequent episodes transition into a ghost story involving metaphors for urban segregation and white flight, and then into a cliffhanger-heavy adventure yarn that examines the colonialist roots of exploration in a way National Treasure or Goonies did not. Daniel Fienberg, The Hollywood Reporter, 7 Aug. 2020 The population decline, hastened by white flight and the Craig Air Force Base closure in 1977, has caused many businesses and community centers, such as the Brown YMCA, to permanently shutter. Stryens-fernandes, al, 29 Mar. 2023 Meaning that a Black woman, any Black woman, would probably offer me more safety and protection than the white flight attendants into whose care I was being entrusted. Laura Cathcart Robbins, Good Housekeeping, 17 Feb. 2023 The film is surprisingly anti-capitalist in message, critiquing the hyper-commodification of the holiday and preposterousness of white flight suburbia. Joshua St. Clair, Men's Health, 5 Dec. 2022 While the white flight migration event of the mid-20th century did end in the 1970s, its lasting legacy has impacted the current the geographic distribution of the American population, which is still largely segregated—by some level of choice, not by law. Stefanie Waldek, House Beautiful, 9 Oct. 2020 The story of Hickory Hill is the story of white flight, Black resettlement, disinvestment, and gradual decline. Noah Robertson, The Christian Science Monitor, 6 Mar. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'white flight.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1956, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of white flight was in 1956

Dictionary Entries Near white flight

Cite this Entry

“White flight.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/white%20flight. Accessed 1 Jun. 2023.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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