, Volume 50, Issue 4, pp 1477-1498

First online:

Housing Tenure and Residential Segregation in Metropolitan America

  • Samantha FriedmanAffiliated withDepartment of Sociology, University at Albany, SUNY Email author 
  • , Hui-shien TsaoAffiliated withCenter for Social and Demographic Analysis, University at Albany, SUNY
  • , Cheng ChenAffiliated withDepartment of Sociology, University at Albany, SUNY

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Homeownership, a symbol of the American dream, is one of the primary ways through which families accumulate wealth, particularly for blacks and Hispanics. Surprisingly, no study has explicitly documented the segregation of minority owners and renters from whites. Using data from Census 2000, this study aims to fill this gap. Analyses here reveal that the segregation of black renters relative to whites is significantly lower than the segregation of black owners from whites, controlling for relevant socioeconomic and demographic factors, contrary to the notion that homeownership represents an endpoint in the residential assimilation process. The patterns for Hispanics and Asians conform more to expectations under the spatial assimilation model. The findings here suggest that race and ethnicity continue to be as important in shaping residential segregation as socioeconomic status, and raise concerns about the benefits of homeownership, particularly for blacks.


Residential segregation Housing tenure Race Ethnicity Socioeconomic status