Still Large, but Narrowing: The Sizable Decline in Racial Neighborhood Inequality in Metropolitan America, 1980–2010

Glenn Firebaugh, Chad R. Farrell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations

Abstract

Although residential segregation is known to have declined for some racial groups in America, much less is known about change in the relative socioeconomic quality of the neighborhoods where different racial and ethnic groups live. Using census data for 1980–2010, we find that the neighborhoods where whites and minorities reside have become more alike in terms of neighborhood poverty and median income, largely because whites now live in poorer neighborhoods and because African Americans live in less-poor neighborhoods. The narrowing of black-white neighborhood inequality since 1980 has been sizable, far exceeding the narrowing of Hispanic-white neighborhood inequality; nonetheless, despite blacks’ relative gains, the disparity in black-white neighborhood economic conditions remains very large. Asian Americans, on the other hand, now reside in neighborhoods that are economically similar to the neighborhoods where whites reside. Regression analyses reveal that racial neighborhood inequality declined the most in U.S. metropolitan areas where racial residential segregation declined the most.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)139-164
Number of pages26
JournalDemography
Volume53
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Demography

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