Estimates of the number of Americans living in gated communities and
condos vary widely. According to the CIA World Factbook, the estimated
population of the United States (as of July 2004) is 293,027,571.
Estimates from reliable sources indicate that approximately 8 million
people (about 3% of Americans) live in gated communities, and
approximately 42 million people (about 14% of Americans) live in
condominiums and co-ops.
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"The analysis of the Census Bureau's 2001 American Housing Survey, a
sampling of 62,000 households that is representative of the nation's
119 million households, shows that:
More than 7 million households... are in developments behind walls and
fences. About 4 million of that total are in communities where access
is controlled by gates, entry codes, key cards or security guards."
USA Today: Gated communities more popular, and not just for the rich
"Gated communities are now the fastest growing of these enclaves.
Currently most numerous in large metropolitan and coastal areas of the
United States, with the largest concentrations in Arizona, California,
Florida, New York and Texas, they are home to an estimated four
million Americans and represent one out of every three new residential
developments in the country."
Condo Management Online: Gated communities
"In the past fifteen years the construction of gated communities has
become a mass trend in US-American urban development. It is estimated
that there are more than eight million people in the US living in
gated communities today. In all the metropolitan areas of the Sunbelt
states, and to a lesser degree also in the rest of the country, they
have not only changed the American urban landscape but the suburban
society and its lifestyle as well. In the USA these communities are
settlements which are mostly privately built and maintained. The
residents cut themselves off from the outside world using a number of
defensive measures such as guarded or remote-controlled gates, walls
or fences. These measures of fear are often supplemented by a
privately-organized neighborhood watch or professional security
personnel. Gated communities are one element in US-American cities
that reflect the progressive trend towards privatization of urban
services, and an increasing polarization, fragmentation and diminished
solidarity within urban society."
Gated Communities as a Global Phenomenon
"An estimated 8 million Americans live in gated communities today.
These communities are most popular in Los Angeles, Phoenix, Chicago,
Houston, New York, and Miami."
Amazon: Fortress America: Gated Communities in the United States
"Gated communities house an estimated 16 million Americans, about 6%
of all households; homeowner associations number over 250,000. In
major metropolitan areas, 50% of new housing units take this form; in
cities like San Antonio, Texas, and Tampa, Florida, gated communities
dominate the new-housing market."
The Politics of Fear: Gated Communities
"More than 42 million Americans now live in condos, co-ops, or planned
communities with self-governing bodies distinct from their local city
or county governments."
US News: Hi, Neighbor, want to get together? Let's meet in court!
"Nationally, more than 50 million Americans live in some 260,000
Cyber Citizens for Justice: Condo Articles
Regarding the matter of whether "gated communities" includes
condominums, there is no universally accepted definition.
Limited-access condos are sometimes described as "gated communities,"
but the term more often describes walled neighborhoods of
single-family homes or duplexes. In the United States, condos are
usually excluded from the definition, and statistics related to condos
and co-ops are generally separate from those on gated communities.
"Gated communities are a global phenomenon. They occur in various
forms in many countries including Argentina, Brazil, India, Malaysia,
Saudi Arabia, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States. While
there are many similarities between gated communities throughout the
world, there are a number of important differences between gated
communities in developed countries and those in developing countries.
There is no common agreement on a definition or meaning of gated
communities. It is accepted that there are different types of gated
communities in different countries, resulting in a multitude of
interpretations regarding types and meta-types.
These differences are also apparent in South Africa and Brazil. In
Brazil, enclosed developments are often referred to as ?gated
communities?. Others refer to ?closed condominiums?, ?fortified
enclaves? or simply to ?fenced-up areas?. Some authors talk of gated
communities as only one part of a larger phenomenon of enclosed areas
including shopping malls and fenced-in housing estates. Yet others
interpret the term gated community or fortified enclave to refer to
all fenced-in areas or controlled access spaces or, in other words, as
the collective name for such urban developments."
URBAN FORTRESSES: Gated communities as a reaction to crime
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