Residential Segregation

  • Robert Mare
  • Daniel Lichter

Leader: Daniel Lichter, Robert Mare

The Residential Segregation RG is dedicated to updating the country’s system for measuring residential segregation. This research group has three main research commitments: (a) monitoring segregation at the extremes; (b) charting the spatial distribution of the elderly poor; and (c) developing a new GPS-based infrastructure for measuring segregation. 

Segregation at the extremes: The first line of research addresses the need to better monitor segregation at the extremes, including (a) the possible rise of enclave-style segregation at the very top (the “one percent”) and (b) the yet more troubling possibility of a resurgence of extreme segregation among the very poor. In a related recession brief, Robert Sampson has shown that poor neighborhoods have become yet poorer in the downturn, raising the possibility that hyper-segregation is indeed emerging. 

Segregation of the elderly poor: In the second line of research, research group members are charting the spatial distribution of the elderly poor, given emerging concerns about their ghettoization. This line of research, which is being carried out in collaboration with the Stanford Center on Longevity, begins with a simple descriptive mapping of elderly poor that reveals the extent to which they are indeed isolated and segregated. 

Real-time measures of segregation: The third main initiative is to develop a new infrastructure for monitoring segregation. The conventional approach of carrying out separate and static measurements of residential, school, work, friendship, and marriage segregation can be replaced with a direct behavioral framework that tracks the continuous-time patterning of inter-person contact. By exploiting GPS measurements (increasingly available, even for the poor, via mobile phones), it becomes possible to track poor, middle-class, and rich people as they move through their day and attend school, go to work, carry out their shopping, and visit friends and family. This methodology will produce a real-time measure of how much segregation there is and, in particular, the extent to which the poor are growing increasingly isolated in school, home, work, and leisure. 

Segregation - CPI Research

Title Author Media
State of the States: Spatial Segregation Daniel T. Lichter, Domenico Parisi, and Michael C...

State of the States: Spatial Segregation

Author: Daniel T. Lichter, Domenico Parisi, and Michael C...
Publisher:
Date: 01/2016
Toward a New Macro-Segregation? Decomposing Segregation within and between Metropolitan Cities and Suburbs Daniel T. Lichter, Domenico Parisi, Michael C. Taquino

Toward a New Macro-Segregation? Decomposing Segregation within and between Metropolitan Cities and Suburbs

Author: Daniel T. Lichter, Domenico Parisi, Michael C. Taquino
Publisher: American Sociological Review
Date: 08/2015

This article documents a new macro-segregation, where the locus of racial differentiation resides increasingly in socio-spatial processes at the community or place level. The goal is to broaden the spatial lens for studying segregation, using decennial Census data on 222 metropolitan areas. Unlike previous neighborhood studies of racial change, we decompose metropolitan segregation into its within- and between-place components from 1990 to 2010. This is accomplished with the Theil index (H). Our decomposition of H reveals large post-1990 declines in metropolitan segregation. But, significantly, macro-segregation—the between-place component—has increased since 1990, offsetting declines in the within-place component. The macro component of segregation is also most pronounced and increasing most rapidly among blacks, accounting for roughly one-half of all metro segregation in the most segregated metropolitan areas of the United States. Macro-segregation is least evident among Asians, which suggests other members of these communities (i.e., middle-class or affluent ethnoburbs) have less resistance to Asians relocating there. These results on emerging patterns of macro-segregation are confirmed in fixed-effects models that control for unobserved heterogeneity across metropolitan areas. Unlike most previous studies focused on the uneven distribution of racial and ethnic groups across metropolitan neighborhoods, we show that racial residential segregation is increasingly shaped by the cities and suburban communities in which neighborhoods are embedded.

Spatial Assimilation in U.S. Cities and Communities? Emerging Patterns of Hispanic Segregation from Blacks and Whites Daniel T. Lichter, Domenico Parisi, Michael C. Taquino

Spatial Assimilation in U.S. Cities and Communities? Emerging Patterns of Hispanic Segregation from Blacks and Whites

Author: Daniel T. Lichter, Domenico Parisi, Michael C. Taquino
Publisher: Sage Publications
Date: 07/2015

This article provides a geographically inclusive empirical framework for studying changing U.S. patterns of Hispanic segregation. Whether Hispanics have joined the American mainstream depends in part on whether they translate upward mobility into residence patterns that mirror the rest of the nation. Based on block and place data from the 1990–2010 decennial censuses, our results provide evidence of increasing spatial assimilation among Hispanics, both nationally and in new immigrant destinations. Segregation from whites declined across the urban size-of-place hierarchy and in new destinations. Hispanics are also less segregated from whites than from blacks, but declines in Hispanic-black segregation have exceeded declines in Hispanic-white segregation. This result is consistent with the notion of U.S. Hispanics as a racialized population—one in which members sometimes lack the freedom to join whites in better communities. Hispanic income was significantly associated with less segregation from whites, but income inequality alone does not explain overall Hispanic segregation, which remains high. The segmented assimilation of Hispanics that we observe supports two seemingly contradictory theories: both the idea that spatial assimilation can come from economic and cultural assimilation and the notion that economic mobility is no guarantee of residential integration.

 

Neighborhood Income Composition by Race and Income, 1990-2009 Sean F. Reardon, Joseph Townsend, Lindsay Fox

Neighborhood Income Composition by Race and Income, 1990-2009

Author: Sean F. Reardon, Joseph Townsend, Lindsay Fox
Publisher:
Date: 07/2015

Residential segregation, by definition, leads to racial and socioeconomic disparities in neighborhood conditions. These disparities may in turn produce inequality in social and economic opportunities and outcomes. Because racial and socioeconomic segregation are not independent of one another, however, any analysis of their causes, patterns, and effects must rest on an understanding of the joint distribution of race/ethnicity and income among neighborhoods. In this paper, we use a new technique to describe the average racial composition and income distributions in the neighborhoods of households of different income levels and race/ethnicity. Using data from the decennial censuses and the American Community Survey, we investigate how patterns of neighborhood context in the United States over the past two decades vary by household race/ethnicity, income, and metropolitan area. We find large and persistent racial differences in neighborhood context, even among households of the same annual income.

The Buffering Hypothesis: Growing Diversity and Declining Black-White Segregation in America's Cities, Suburbs, and Small Towns? Domenico Parisi, Daniel T. Lichter, Michael C. Taquino

The Buffering Hypothesis: Growing Diversity and Declining Black-White Segregation in America's Cities, Suburbs, and Small Towns?

Author: Domenico Parisi, Daniel T. Lichter, Michael C. Taquino
Publisher:
Date: 03/2015

The conventional wisdom is that racial diversity promotes positive race relations and reduces racial residential segregation between blacks and whites. We use data from the 1990–2010 decennial censuses and 2007–2011 ACS to test this so-called “buffering hypothesis.” We identify cities, suburbs, and small towns that are virtually all white, all black, all Asian, all Hispanic, and everything in between. The results show that the most racially diverse places—those with all four racial groups (white, black, Hispanic, and Asian) present—had the lowest black-white levels of segregation in 2010. Black-white segregation also declined most rapidly in the most racially diverse places and in places that experienced the largest recent increases in diversity. Support for the buffering hypothesis, however, is counterbalanced by continuing high segregation across cities and communities and by rapid white depopulation in the most rapidly diversifying communities. We argue for a new, spatially inclusive perspective on racial residential segregation.

segregation - CPI Affiliates

Kim Weeden's picture Kim Weeden Chair of the Department of Sociology; Jan Rock Zubrow ’77 Professor of the Social Sciences; Director of the Center for the Study of Inequality; Keeton House Faculty Fellow
Cornell University
Lester Mackey's picture Lester Mackey Adjunct Professor of Statistics; Researcher at Microsoft Research New England
Microsoft Research New England
Matthew Hall's picture Matthew Hall Associate Professor of Policy Analysis & Management; Training Director for the Cornell Population Center
Cornell University
Yana Kucheva's picture Yana Kucheva Assistant Professor of Sociology
The City College of New York
Magnus Nermo's picture Magnus Nermo Professor of Sociology; Head of the Sociology Department; Associate Researcher at the Swedish Institute for Social Research
Stockholm University

Pages

Segregation - Other Research

Title Author Media
Residential Hierarchy in Los Angeles: An Examination of Ethnic and Documentation Status Differences David A. Cort, Ken-Hou Lin, Gabriela Stevenson

Residential Hierarchy in Los Angeles: An Examination of Ethnic and Documentation Status Differences

Author: David A. Cort, Ken-Hou Lin, Gabriela Stevenson
Publisher: Social Science Research
Date: 01/2014

Longitudinal event history data from two waves of the Los Angeles Family and Neighborhood Survey are used to explore racial, ethnic, and documentation status differences in access to desirable neighborhoods. We first find that contrary to recent findings, undocumented Latinos do not replace blacks at the bottom of the locational attainment hierarchy. Whites continue to end up in neighborhoods that are less poor and whiter than minority groups, while all minorities, including undocumented Latinos, end up in neighborhoods that are of similar quality. Second, the effects of socioeconomic status for undocumented Latinos are either similar to or weaker than disadvantaged blacks. These findings suggest that living in less desirable neighborhoods is a fate disproportionately borne by non-white Los Angeles residents and that in some limited ways, the penalty attached to being undocumented Latino might actually be greater than the penalty attached to being black.

Vulnerable Populations and Transformative Law Teaching Society of American Law Teachers, Golden Gate...

Vulnerable Populations and Transformative Law Teaching

Author: Society of American Law Teachers, Golden Gate...
Publisher: Carolina Academic Press
Date: 03/2011

The essays included in this volume began as presentations at the March 19–20, 2010 “Vulnerable Populations and Economic Realities” teaching conference organized and hosted by Golden Gate University School of Law and co-sponsored by the Society of American Law Teachers (SALT). That conference, generously funded by a grant from The Elfenworks Foundation, brought together law faculty, practitioners, and students to reexamine how issues of race, gender, sexual identity, nationality, disability, and generally—outsider status—are linked to poverty. Contributors have transformed their presentations into essays, offering a variety of roadmaps for incorporating these issues into the law school curriculum, both inside the classroom as well as in clinical and externship settings, study abroad, and social activism. These essays provide glimpses into “teaching moments,” both intentional and organic, to help trigger opportunities for students and faculty to question their own perceptions and experiences about who creates and interprets law, and who has access to power and the force of law. This book expands the parameters of law teaching so that this next generation of attorneys will be dedicated to their roles as public citizens, broadening the availability of justice. Contributors include: John Payton; Richard Delgado; Steven W. Bender; Sarah Valentine; Deborah Post and Deborah Zalesne; Gilbert Paul Carrasco; Michael L. Perlin and Deborah Dorfman; Robin R. Runge; Cynthia D. Bond; Florence Wagman Roisman; Doug Simpson; Anne Marie Harkins and Robin Clark; Douglas Colbert; Raquel Aldana and Leticia Saucedo, Marci Seville; Deirdre Bowen, Daniel Bonilla Maldonado, Kathleen Neal Cleaver, Colin Crawford, and James Forman, Jr.; Susan Rutberg; Mary B. Culbert and Sara Campos; MaryBeth Musumeci, Elizabeth Weeks Leonard, and Brutrinia D. Arellano; Libby Adler; and Paulette J. Williams. The editorial board includes Raquel Aldana, Steven Bender, Olympia Duhart, Michele Benedetto Neitz, Angela Onwuachi-Willig, Hari Osofsky, and Hazel Weiser.

Place of Work and Place of Residence: Informal Hiring Networks and Labor Market Outcomes Bayer, Patrick, Stephen L. Ross, Giorgio Topa

Place of Work and Place of Residence: Informal Hiring Networks and Labor Market Outcomes

Author: Bayer, Patrick, Stephen L. Ross, Giorgio Topa
Publisher: Journal of Political Economy
Date: 01/2005
Housing and Wealth Inequality: Racial-Ethnic Differences in Home Equity in the United States Lauren J. Krivo and Robert L Kaufman

Housing and Wealth Inequality: Racial-Ethnic Differences in Home Equity in the United States

Author: Lauren J. Krivo and Robert L Kaufman
Publisher: Demography
Date: 08/2004
Space and Unemployment: The Labor-Market Effects of Spatial Mismatch Jan K. Brueckner , Yves Zenou

Space and Unemployment: The Labor-Market Effects of Spatial Mismatch

Author: Jan K. Brueckner , Yves Zenou
Publisher: Journal of Labor Economics
Date: 01/2003

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