I know, I was surprised, too.
St. Louis is featured in the study, however, neither in this article nor in the University of Minnesota’s PowerPointless of the research do we get a map of our area’s RCAAs or RCAPs. I have a pretty good idea, though. For instance, Census Tract 1103, Newstead-Natural Bridge-ish, is most likely a RCAP, while Tract 2175, southern Ladue, Warson Woods, Huntleigh, John Danforth country, is most likely a RCAA.
A few points:
1. The author notes that there are virtually no programs or inducements or mandates to try to move well to do white people into poor black ghetto hovels. As well there aren’t — One of the things that school deseg advocates learned just before it was too late is that white parents, even supposedly liberal ones, will turn the world inside out if their kids are bussed into black schools. On the other hand, they will tolerate a few token blacks being bussed in from the ghetto to their white schools, and maybe the token “affordable housing” ghetto black or two in their census tracts. The white backlash is far more severe if you try to take them or their kids and move them into the ghetto compared to moving just a little slice of the ghetto into their neighborhoods and schools. This is why the fourth wave of school desegregation is a lot more nuanced and careful in what it does and how it does it.
2. A RCAA tract is defined as at least 90% white and median income that is at least four times the Federal poverty level adjusted for the metro area’s cost of living. It does not say whether it’s also adjusted for household size, because Federal poverty thresholds so adjust. As a baseline, 4x Fed Pov 4 household is $97,000 for 2015. That figure will be higher in expensive cities like New York but lower in cheap cities like St. Louis. If the given metro area has a dead on average cost of living, then it stays at $97,000. Yes, $97,000 allows four people to live very comfortably, but it’s not filthy rich. Consider that three such households strung together can’t afford even one HRC speech.
3. We’re still stuck on this hobby horse that the mortgage interest deduction is Federal spending on housing? Oh well, whatever makes them feel better.
Assuming Census’s metro area cost of living fractions are what this study’s authors use, then the extremes are Manhattan (216.7%), and Harlingen, Texas (82.8%). Phoenix (100.7%) is pretty much a dead on average area, while St. Louis is at 90.4%. So the $97,000 national average means $210,200 in Manhattan, $80,300 in Harlingen, and $87,700 in St. Louis. Assuming this study’s authors use a 4 person household, it means that a St. Louis area census tract has to have a median household income of $87,700 and be at least 90% white to be classified as a RCAA.
Husband wife and two kids with $87,700 of income in a 90%+ white census tract in St. Louis are going to live a pretty good life, but they’re not rich.