On Thursday, Ward Room published a blog post in which we wrote that Englewood has lost two thirds of its population since 1950. That made us wonder whether Englewood is the most abandoned neighborhood in Chicago.
So we did some research using Census tract data. It turns out that the neighborhood that’s lost the highest percentage of residents since 1950, the year Chicago’s population peaked at 3.6 million, is Fuller Park, which is down 83 percent. Fuller Park is in what used to be known as the Black Belt, the South Side ghetto to which the city’s African-American population was confined for the first half of this century. It was horribly overcrowded, and when restrictive covenants were banned, starting in the 1950s, its residents moved out in droves, seeking less dense living conditions. Douglas, Oakland, Grand Boulevard and Washington Park -- four other Black Belt neighborhoods -- have all lost over 75 percent of the populations since the ‘50s.