, Volume 41, Issue 1, pp 1-22

Segregation of minorities in the metropolis: two decades of change

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Data from Census 2000 show that black-white segregation declined modestly at the national level after 1980, while Hispanic and Asian segregation rose in most metropolitan areas. Changes that may have produced greater changes for blacks proved to have insignificant effects: there was no net shift of the black population toward less-segregated areas, segregation at the metropolitan level did not decline more in areas where the incomes of blacks came closer to the incomes of whites over time, and the emergence of more multiethnic metropolises had no impact. As in the past, declines were centered in the South and West and in areas with smaller black populations. Increases in Hispanic and Asian segregation in individual metropolitan areas were counterbalanced by a net movement of these two groups toward areas of lower segregation. These increases were associated especially with the more rapid growth in the Hispanic and Asian populations. Hispanic segregation increased more in regions where group members had declining incomes relative to the incomes of whites and included a growing share of immigrants.

This research was supported by the Lewis Mumford Center, University at Albany, and by a grant from the Ford Foundation. The Center for Social and Demographic Analysis, University at Albany, provided technical and administrative support through grants from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (P30 HD32041) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) (SBR-9512290). Additional support was provided by the Population Studies Center at the University of Michigan and NSF Grant SES-0095658. We thank Jacob Stowell, Deirdre Oakley, and Pamela Bennett for their assistance with the data analysis and Judy Mullin for preparation of the manuscript.