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Choosing Our Future: A Story of Opportunity in America

The Role of Neighborhoods in the Transmission of Opportunity

Note: Averages include all metropolitan areas with at least 500,000 residents in 2007 and at least 10,000 families of a given race in each year 1970-2009 (or each year 1980-2009 for Hispanics). This includes 116 metropolitan areas for the trends in total and White income segregation, 65 metropolitan areas for the trends in income segregation among Black families, and 37 metropolitan areas for the trends in income segregation among Hispanic families. The averages presented here are unweighted. The trends are very similar if metropolitan areas are weighted by the population of the group of interest.

Source: Kendra Bischoff and Sean F. Reardon, Residential Segregation by Income, 1970-2009 (New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 2013). Original title: Trends in Family Income Segregation, by Race, Metropolitan Areas With Population > 500,000.



Although data show that, on average, neighborhood segregation by race has remained level or even declined, segregation by income is another story.

Across all groups, residential segregation by income has been on the rise.

From 1970 to 2010, that pattern was evident for White families.

However, segregation by family income has increased much more dramatically for Black and Hispanic families. This was especially true from 2000 until about 2009. As an example, by 2009, income segregation among Black families was 65 percent greater than among White families.