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Contemporary patterns and issues of school segregation and white flight in U.S. metropolitan areas: towards spatial inquiries

  • Charlie H. ZhangEmail author
  • Matt Ruther


The geography of education issues has long been an under-researched area in geography literature. This article reviews studies on school segregation and white flight and emphasizes the importance of investigating these educational issues within U.S. metropolitan areas. We discuss the characteristics of school segregation and white flight as a consequence of contemporary educational policies and the increasing diversity of public school populations. In consideration of the intrinsic geographic nature of the aforementioned educational phenomena, we call for spatial social science research to explore new trends and patterns of white flight and school segregation in U.S. metropolitan contexts using advanced geospatial approaches as location-referenced educational data become increasingly available.


School segregation White flight Demographic change Metropolitan areas Spatial analysis 



This study was funded by a University of Louisville internal research grant.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Informed consent

This research does not involve human participants and/or animals.


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© Springer Nature B.V. 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Geography and GeosciencesUniversity of LouisvilleLouisvilleUSA
  2. 2.Department of Urban and Public AffairsUniversity of LouisvilleLouisvilleUSA

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