NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Neighborhoods Integrated Slowly In Past Decade

April 4, 2001

A new study of 2000 census data shows that blacks and whites live in neighborhoods that are slightly more integrated than they were in 1990. The analysis, conducted by researchers at the State University of New York at Albany, reveals that blacks, Hispanics and Asians live in more integrated neighborhoods than do whites.

  • The average white person living in a metropolitan area -- which includes city dwellers and suburbanites -- lives in a neighborhood that is about 80 percent white and 7 percent black.
  • In contrast, a typical black person lives in a neighborhood that is 33 percent white and 51 percent black.
  • For the average white person, this represented a neighborhood that was about 5 percent less white and 1 percent more black than in 1990.
  • The average black person's neighborhood had the same share of whites but 5 percent fewer blacks than in 1990.

Hispanics and Asians tended to live in neighborhoods that had a slightly larger share of their ethnic groups than a decade ago.

The metropolitan areas where blacks and whites were most integrated were in the South -- or were military towns like Norfolk, Va., and San Diego. In metropolitan areas, more than 70 percent of whites are now living in the suburbs, compared to 40 percent of blacks.

Source: Eric Schmitt, "Analysis of Census Finds Segregation Along with Diversity," New York Times, April 4, 2001.


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