Increasing Diversity and the Future of U.S. Housing Segregation
28 Pages Posted: 25 Feb 2009
Date Written: April 2008
Previous studies have shown that as the percent Black or percent Hispanic grows, that group's residential segregation from Whites tends to increase as well. Typically, these findings are explained in terms of White discriminatory reaction to the perceived economic and political threats associated with minority population growth. The present analysis examines whether these racial threat effects depend on the extent of racial and ethnic diversity in an area. This possibility is tested by estimating otherwise standard models of Black-White and Hispanic-White segregation, as measured by the isolation index, using metropolitan area data from the 1990 and 2000 U.S. Censuses. Our results strongly support the notion that the racial threat effect is significantly diminished in areas with greater multi-ethnic diversity. These findings provide some reason for optimism with regard to racial and ethnic residential isolation given the trends toward increasing diversity in many metro areas.
Keywords: diversity, segregation, racial, dissimilarity
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