, Volume 33, Issue 1, pp 35-50

Latino, Asian, and black segregation in U.S. metropolitan areas: Are multiethnic metros different*

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This study examines 1990 residential segregation levels and 1980–1990 changes in segregation for Latinos, Asians, and blacks in U.S. metropolitan areas. It also evaluates the effect of emerging multiethnic metropolitan area contexts for these segregation patterns. While black segregation levels are still well above those for Latinos and Asians, there is some trend toward convergence over the decade. More than half of the areas increased their Latino segregation levels over the 1980s, and almost three-fourths increased their Asian segregation levels. In contrast, black segregation levels decreased in 88%ofmetropolitan areas. Multiethnic metropolitan area context is shown to be important for internal segregation dynamics. Black segregation levels are lower, and were more likely to decline in multiethnic metropolitan areas and when other minority groups grew faster than blacks. Latino segregation was also more likely to decline in such areas, and declines in both Latino and Asian segregation were greater when other minority groups were growing. These findings point up the potential for greater mixed-race and mixed-ethnicity coresidence in the neighborhoods of multiethnic metropolitan areas.

The authors acknowledge Cathy Sun of the Population Studies Center for computer programming, Justin Garosi for research assistance, and Judy Mullin and Ron Lue-Sang for creating graphics. The data for this study were provided by Dan Gillmor and Steven Doig of Knight-Ridder Newspapers. Segregation indexes for each individual metropolitan area are shown in Research Report 93–278, available from Publications, Population Studies Center, The University of Michigan.