, Volume 26, Issue 3, pp 373–391

Hypersegregation in U.S. Metropolitan Areas: Black and Hispanic Segregation Along Five Dimensions

  • Douglas S. Massey
  • Nancy A. Denton


Residential segregation has traditionally been measured by using the index of dissimilarity and, more recently, the P* exposure index. These indices, however, measure only two of five potential dimensions of segregation and, by themselves, understate the degree of black segregation in U.S. society. Compared with Hispanics, not only are blacks more segregated on any single dimension of residential segregation, they are also likely to be segregated on all five dimensions simultaneously, which never occurs for Hispanics. Moreover, in a significant subset of large urban areas, blacks experience extreme segregation on all dimensions, a pattern we call hypersegregation. This finding is upheld and reinforced by a multivariate analysis. We conclude that blacks occupy a unique and distinctly disadvantaged position in the U.S. urban environment.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Bean, F. D., and M. Tienda. 1987. The Hispanic Population of the United States. New York: Russell Sage.Google Scholar
  2. Cortese, C. F., R. F. Falk, and J. C. Cohen. 1976. Further considerations on the methodological analysis of segregation indices. American Sociological Review 41:630–637.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Duncan, O. D. 1957. The measurement of population distribution. Population Studies 11:27–45.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Duncan, O. D., R. P. Cuzzort, and B. Duncan. 1961. Statistical Geography: Problems in Analyzing Area Data. Glencoe, Ill.: Free Press.Google Scholar
  5. Duncan, O. D., and B. Duncan. 1955. A methodological analysis of segregation indices. American Sociological Review 20:210–217.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. — 1957. The Negro Population of Chicago. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  7. Espenshade, T. J. 1985. Marriage trends in America: Estimates, implications, and causes. Population and Development Review 11:193–246.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Farley, R. 1977. Residential segregation in urbanized areas of the United States in 1970: An analysis of social class and racial differences. Demography 14:497–529.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. — 1984. Blacks and Whites: Narrowing the Gap? Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  10. Farley, R., and W. R. Allen. 1987. The Color Line and the Quality of Life in America. New York: Russell Sage.Google Scholar
  11. Farley, R., H. Schuman, S. Bianchi, D. Colasanto, and S. Hatchett. 1978. “Chocolate city, vanilla suburbs:” Will the trend toward racially separate communities continue? Social Science Research 7:319–344.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Glaster, G. C. 1984. On the measurement of metropolitan decentralization of blacks and whites. Urban Studies 21:465–470.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Greeley, A. M. 1974. Ethnicity in the United States: A Preliminary Reconnaissance. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  14. Hirsch, A. R. 1983. Making the Second Ghetto: Race and Housing in Chicago 1940–1960. New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  15. Jakubs, J. F. 1977. Residential segregation: The Taeuber index reconsidered. Journal of Regional Science 17:281–303.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. — 1979. A consistent conceptual definition of the index of dissimilarity. Geographical Analysis 11:315–321.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. — 1981. A distance-based segregation index. Journal of Socio-Economic Planning Sciences 15:129–136.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. James, D. R., and K. E. Taeuber. 1985. Measures of segregation. Pp. 1–32 in N. Tuma (ed.), Sociological Methodology 1985. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  19. Kain, J. F., and J. M. Quigley. 1975. Housing Markets and Racial Discrimination: A Microeconomic Analysis. New York: National Bureau of Economic Research.Google Scholar
  20. Labov, W. 1972. Language in the Inner City. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.Google Scholar
  21. Labov, W, and W. A. Harris, 1986. De facto segregation of black and white vernaculars. Pp. 1–24 in D. Sankoff (ed.), Current Issues in Linguistic Theory: Diversity and Diachrony. Philadelphia: John Benjamins.Google Scholar
  22. Langberg, M., and R. Farley. 1985. Residential segregation of Asian Americans in 1980. Sociology and Social Research 69:51–61.Google Scholar
  23. Lichter, D. T. 1988. Racial differences in underemployment in American cities. American Journal of Sociology 93:771–792.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Liebereon, S. 1980. A Piece of the Pie: Blacks and White Immigrants Since 1880. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  25. — 1981. An asymmetrical approach to segregation. Pp. 61–82 in C. Peach, V. Robinson, and S. Smith (eds.), Ethnic Segregation in Cities. London: Croom Helm.Google Scholar
  26. Logan, J. R. 1978. Growth, politics, and the stratification of places. American Journal of Sociology 84:404–416.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Massey, D. S. 1979. Residential segregation of Spanish Americans in United States urbanized areas. Demography 16:653–664.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Massey, D. S., and B. Bitterman. 1985. Explaining the paradox of Puerto Rican segregation. Social Forces 64:306–331.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Massey, D. S., G. A. Condran, and N. A. Denton. 1987. The effect of residential segregation on black social and economic well-being. Social Forces 66:29–56.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Massey, D. S., and N. A. Denton. 1987. Trends in the residential segregation of blacks, Hispanics, and Asians. American Sociological Review 52:802–825.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. — 1988a. The dimensions of residential segregation. Social Forces 67:281–315.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. — 1988b. Suburbanization and segregation in U.S. metropolitan areas. American Journal of Sociology 94:592–626.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Olsen, R. J. 1980. A least squares correction for selectivity bias. Econometrica 48:1815–1820.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Park, R. E., and E. W. Burgess. 1925. The City. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  35. Pratt, W. F., W. D. Mosher, C. A. Bachrach, and M. C. Horn. 1984. Understanding U.S. fertility: Findings from the National Survey of Family Growth, Cycle III. Population Bulletin 39(5).Google Scholar
  36. Schneider, M., and J. R. Logan. 1982. Suburban racial segregation and black access to local public resources. Social Science Quarterly 63:762–770.Google Scholar
  37. — 1985. Suburban municipalities: The changing system of intergovernmental relations in the mid-1970s. Urban Affairs Quarterly 21:87–105.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Sorensen, A., K. E. Taeuber, and L. J. Hollingsworth, Jr. 1975. Indexes of racial residential segregation for 109 cities in the United States, 1940–1970. Sociological Focus 8:125–142.Google Scholar
  39. Spear, A. H. 1967. Black Chicago: The Making of a Negro Ghetto, 1890–1920. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  40. Taeuber, K. E., and A. F. Taeuber. 1965. Negroes in Cities: Residential Segregation and Neighborhood Change. Chicago: Aldine.Google Scholar
  41. U.S. Bureau of the Census. 1980. Census of Population and Housing 1980, Summary Tape File 4A [Machinereadable data file]. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Bureau of the Census (producer). Ithaca, N.Y.: National Planning Data Corporation (distributor).Google Scholar
  42. — 1982. 1980 Census of Population and Housing, PHC80-R1-A Users’ Guide Part A. Text. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office.Google Scholar
  43. White, M. J. 1983. The measurement of spatial segregation. American Journal of Sociology 88:1008–1019.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. — 1986. Segregation and diversity: Measures in population distribution. Population Index 52:198–221.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Wilson, W. J. 1987. The Truly Disadvantaged. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Population Association of America 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Douglas S. Massey
    • 1
  • Nancy A. Denton
    • 1
  1. 1.Population Research CenterNORC/University of ChicagoChicago

Personalised recommendations