Searching for Whitopia

Searching for Whitopia

August 4, 2009
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A prediction making headlines across the United States is fast becoming reality:  By 2042, whites will no longer be the American majority.  Rich Benjamin, a scholar-adventurer, packed his bags and embarked on an unprecedented 27,000-mile journey throughout the heart of white America -- some of the whitest and fast-growing communities in our nation.  This is his story.

Searching for Whitopia chronicles Benjamin’s in-depth investigation of this country and its future in the face of rapid social change. Absorbing and hard-nosed, Searching for Whitopia explains the class, geographic, racial, and ideological divides that vex America.  The book offers fresh insight into heated debates: Who is America?  Who do we want to be?  Finally, Searching for Whitopia offers powerful recommendations how America can achieve its best ideals in the face of this dramatic social, political, and demographic change.

TOP FACTS:

  • Searching for Whitopia is the only single source to identify the nation’s whitest, “best place to live” communities: 286 U.S. counties and 39 metropolitan areas in all.  The book delivers a comprehensive, alphabetized listof every county and metropolitan area in the US that is a “Whitopia,” including the county’s percentage of non-Hispanic white residents; its overall growth rate after 2000; and the percent of that growth coming from non-Hispanic whites.
  • Whitopias pervade all of America (the East coast, South, Midwest, Rocky Mountains, and West coast).  States containing the most Whitopia counties: Tennessee (23), Minnesota (21), Georgia (20), Missouri (18), Kentucky (17), Utah (11), Virginia (11), Arkansas (10), Colorado (10), Idaho (10), Indiana (10), Ohio (10), and Wisconsin (10).
  • Searching for Whitopia delivers a crackling portrait of Manhattan’s Carnegie Hill neighborhood, home to such boldface names as Roger Angell, Louis Auchincloss, Ken Auletta, Phoebe Cates, Kevin Kline, Adam Gopnik, Amy Hempel, Ralph Lauren, Bette Midler, Joanne Woodward, Peggy Noonan, Larry Rockefeller, Frederick A. O. Schwarz, Jr., Binky Urban, and Kate White.  The book expains how and why segregation and exclusion persist in heterogeneous cities like New York.
  • Benjamin's journey to unlock the mysteries of Whitopia took him from a three-day white separatist retreat with links to Aryan Nations in North Idaho to the inner sanctum of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue -- and many points in between.  To learn what makes the Whitopias tick, and why and how they are growing, Benjamin lived in three of them for several months apiece (in Georgia, Idaho, and Utah).
  • Even since 2000, the US minority population grew five times the rate of whites’.
  • The average white resident in American lives in a Census tract that is 79 percent white, according to the 2010 data.
  • The average black resident in America lives in a tract that is 46 percent black, according to the 2010 data.