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A Changing Tide
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© 1989 Robert A. Sengstacke

Escaping the Inner City

Surveys have found that the elderly often live in fear of being victims of crime. This is particularly true for the African-American elderly, who are almost twice as likely as whites to reside in inner cities. In a 1974 survey, 76 percent of elderly African-American respondents felt that they lived in a "bad" neighborhood. A 1982 study revealed that 7 percent of the people surveyed had been victimized, of whom 68 percent had lost property to burglaries, robberies, or fraud. More than 50 percent of those surveyed knew someone who had been a victim in the previous year, and more than two-thirds of those people reported that this knowledge made them fearful. Growing fear of crime in inner-city neighborhoods provided a stimulus for many elderly to seek out the seemingly safer areas in the South, such as Atlanta.

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