Wakefield is a low-income working-class section of the northern borough of the Bronx in New York City, bounded by the New York city line with Westchester County or 243rd street to the north,and 222nd Street to the south, and the Bronx River, Bronx River Parkway and Metro-North Railroad tracks to the west. Wakefield is the northernmost neighborhood in New York City (although the city's northernmost point is actually in Riverdale, at the College of Mount Saint Vincent). The neighborhood is part of Bronx Community Board 12. The United States Census, 2000 reported a total of 67,787 residents.
Formerly, Wakefield was home to large Irish American and Italian-American populations. During the 1980s, these communities were replaced with significantly large African American populations (commonly known as white flight), which now comprise 72.3% of the neighborhood's total population. 19.6% of the population is Hispanic  The neighborhood is home to many prominent Catholic secondary schools including the all-male Mount Saint Michael Academy, which serves 1,100 students on grades 7-12.
The Wakefield Metro-North Railroad station on the Harlem Line is located at 241st Street. The neighborhood is served by the IRT White Plains Road Line (2 5) of the New York City Subway. The neighborhood's primary ZIP Code is 10466, with certain areas around East 241st Street and White Plains Road listed as 10470.
Many social problems associated with poverty from crime to drug addiction have plagued the area for some time. Despite crime declines versus their peaks during the crack and heroin epidemics violent crime continues to be a serious problem in the community.  Wakefield has significantly higher drop out rates and incidents of violence in its schools. Students must pass through metal detectors and swipe ID cards to enter the buildings, reminiscent of a prison environment which many feel encourages bad behavior. Other problems in local schools include low test scores and high truancy rates. Drug addiction is also a serious problem in the community. Due to the lucrative drug trade in the area many addicted reside in the community. Peer pressure among children who come from broken homes contributes to the high rate of usage. Many households in the area are headed by a single mother which contributes to the high poverty rate. The incarceration rate in the area is also very high. This has a direct correlation to aggressive policing tactics including "sweeps" due to the area's high crime rate.
- ^ U.S. Census Bureau
- ^ 43rd Precinct CompStat Report
- ^ NYC Dropout Rates
- ^ Bronx Census Data Analysis
- ^ NYC Prison Expenditure
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