Census data shows class divide in Evanston
A new analysis of census data shows sharp divides in Evanston neighborhoods based on the type of jobs most residents hold.
The analysis, published by Richard Florida in The Atlantic Cities, segments census tracts across the Chicago metro area into places dominated by one of three types of jobs that he labels -- creative class, service class or working class, based on data collected by the American Community Survey.
The data for Evanston shows that creative class jobs -- which Florida defines as ones involving work in science and technology, business and management, arts, culture, media, and entertainment, law and healthcare professions -- predominate along the city's lakefront and are well represented in many other neighborhoods, especially in northwest Evanston.
Census tracts in purple have more creative class jobs. Ones in red have more service class jobs. Click on the map to see percentages for each tract. (Map by Zara Matheson of the Martin Prosperity Institute at the University of Toronto.)
Workers in these high-skilled, highly-educated positions average over $75,000 a year in wages and salaries, Florida says.
Evanston census tract 8099, bounded by Main and Dempster streets, Chicago Avenue and the lakefront, has the seventh highest percentage of creative class workers in the entire Chicago metro area, at nearly 76 percent.
While creative class jobs are increasing across the country, service class jobs are growing even faster. But they involve low-wage, low-skill positions in food service, retail sales, and clerical and administrative work.
Workers with service class jobs form the largest group in three west Evanston census tracts and have a large representation in southwest Evanston as well.
Working class, or traditional manufacturing jobs, are declining across the country, and don't dominate in any Evanston neighborhood.