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The story of American cities is usually told as the story of progressive
waves of immigrants, establishing neighborhoods, and adding to the texture of
the overall fabric of the city. Since World War II, however, the trend in cities
has been one of shrinking population, increased minority (primarily African-
American) population in the center city and a circle of wealthier, whiter suburbs
on the fringes or outside the city. The modem American city is defined as
much by who left as by who stayed. The result is a city which is often segregated,
hampered by a weak tax and job base, and characterized by an older and
less well-maintained housing stock than the suburbs.

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minorities, population, suburbs, segregation