New Cities of Color: Spatial Patterns and Financial Conditions of Majority-Minority Municipal Incorporation Efforts in the USA, 1990–2009

  • Russell M. SmithEmail author
Part of the The Urban Book Series book series (UBS)


More than 10% of the new municipalities established between 1990 and 2010 had majority-minority populations. These Cities of Color provide a unique insight into the intersection of race and place in the USA and also reveal that NIMs are not a homogeneous block of White, wealthy, and well-educated suburban enclaves. The research presented in this chapter reveals that 44.4% of the new Cities of Color had a majority population of Black residents. Other communities of color represented the remaining portion of new Cities of Color with 35.6% of the new Cities of Color incorporating with majority Hispanic populations. Meanwhile, Native Americans were the majority in 3 NIMs (6.7%) and residents of Asian origins were the majority in 2 NIMs (4.4%). Four NIMs (8.9%) had populations in which no one race/ethnicity constituted more than 50% of the population. Recent research on Cities of Color revealed that the genesis for why these communities incorporate has less to do with traditional incorporation triggers (i.e., annexation and community identity) and more to do with the role of direct and indirect racism in the form of municipal underbounding, siting of unwanted land uses, and the need for public services. Additionally, according to a recent survey of these new majority-minority municipalities, the dire financial situations portrayed by many prior to incorporation have not come to fruition and almost 90% of Cities of Color reported budget surpluses or balanced budgets. The research on Cities of Color is in its infancy, and more scholarship examining these unique local government boundary change manifestations is warranted.


Cities of Color (CoCs) Finance Institutional racism Majority-minority municipal incorporations Place Race 


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© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.History, Politics and Social JusticeWinston-Salem State UniversityWinston-SalemUSA

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