The diversifying of Brooklyn Center


by Nekessa Opoti • Some of you probably live in Brooklyn Center, others in neighboring Brooklyn Park, and those of you who don’t, well, you might have noticed that hundreds of immigrants– Asian and African– have made the city their home.

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The Strib reports that this is the first time in the history of Minnesota that minorities have come close to outnumbering whites in any city/town. The US Census Bureau reports that 49.1% of Brooklyn Center is now inhabited by immigrants.

Now for the bad news:

Per capita income in Brooklyn Center has sunk so low in comparison to the surrounding metro — only a little over 60 percent of the metro-wide figure — that the city risks being added to a list of the nation’s most troubled suburbs.

I am curious about this finding, since I always assumed that families that move to Brooklyn Center are generally middle-class families who are making enough money to move into a suburb.

Some good news

More than 70 percent of kids in the school district are from minority groups.

More bad news

While the mix of cultures and ethnicities is something to celebrate, Willson said, the income-driven social problems the experts are talking about aren’t just approaching, they’re here.

It doesn’t have to be all bad news. Perhaps, as some have pointed out, the average incomes for immigrant families are much lower because their families are bigger, and not because they are making less money? The article also talks about social ills, which I imagine includes crimes such as violent robberies, and gang-related crimes. As usual the Strib has no numbers to back its claims. (really, I would like to meet the editors of that paper!) All the same, Brooklyn Center does have a relatively high crime rate, however there is little to suggest that these crimes are committed by immigrants. Curious. Check here for CityRating stats. A quick google search on crime reports on Brooklyn Center shows that it is one of the most unsafe neighborhoods in the cities.

What is your experience living in Brooklyn Center?