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New Paper: Residential Segregation by Income, 1970-2009

November 14, 2013

The Foundation’s U.S. 2010 project has published a new report, “Residential Segregation by Income, 1970-2009,” by Kendra Bischoff and Sean F. Reardon. The paper describes the patterns and trends in family income segregation over the last 40 years. The main findings include:

  • Family income segregation grew in every decade from 1970-2009. The proportion in poor or affluent neighborhoods increased by 4.1 percentage points in the 1970s, by 4.6 percentage points in the 1980; by 4.2 percentage points in the 1990s, and by 5.1 percentage points from 2000-2009. The rate of growth in segregation in the 2000s was faster than in any of the three prior decades.
  • Segregation by income among black families was lower than among white families in 1970, but grew four times as much between 1970 and 2009. By 2009, income segregation among black families was 65 percent greater than among white families.
  • During the last four decades, the isolation of the rich has been consistently greater than the isolation of the poor. Although much of the scholarly and policy discussion about the effect of segregation and neighborhood conditions focuses on the isolation of poor families in neighborhoods of concentrated disadvantage, it is perhaps equally important to consider the implications of the substantial, and growing, isolation of high-income families.

The full paper can be read here.