New U.S. 2010 Report: Analyzing Growing Diversity in America's Cities

November 1, 2011

Census 2010John Logan and Wenquan Zhang have released a new U.S. 2010 Census report entitled "Global Neighborhoods: New Evidence from Census 2010." Here's the abstract:


A process of increasing neighborhood diversity that was identified after the 2000 Census has continued in the last decade. In America's most multi-ethnic metropolitan regions about half of residents now live in 'global neighborhoods'—community areas where whites, blacks, Hispanics and Asians are all represented in substantial numbers, more than twice as many as in 1980. The emergence of this kind of neighborhood contributes lowering the residential segregation of minorities. But progress is limited by the persistence of large all-minority areas, the reluctance of whites to move into majority-minority neighborhoods, and white flight from some diverse neighborhoods.

And here are some key findings:

  • The growing diversity in the nation’s 20 most multiethnic metropolitan regions during 1980-2010 is spawning new neighborhoods with representation of all major racial and ethnic groups – global neighborhoods.
  • Half of the white population of these metros lives in such neighborhoods, up from just over 20 percent in 1980, while only 3 percent of whites live in the remaining white-dominant neighborhoods.
  • The global neighborhood phenomenon upsets what once seemed a nearly inevitable process in which black entry into a white neighborhood led within a few years to white abandonment of the neighborhood. 60 percent of global neighborhoods existing in 1980 still have substantial white populations, suggesting that stable integration is possible.
  • Hispanics and Asians seem to pave the way for blacks to enter diverse neighborhoods. In a large majority of cases, white neighborhoods add Hispanic and Asian residents in one step, then African Americans at a later time.
  • Nevertheless all-minority neighborhoods also persist in these same metros, explaining why the expansion of global neighborhoods hasn’t more strongly reduced segregation. About half the black population and 40 percent of Hispanics still live in neighborhoods without a white presence. Despite reports of white gentrification in some places, it is rare for an all-minority neighborhood in one decade to include more than a token white population in the next decade.

The report can be read and downloaded below. Launched in 2009 with a grant of over $1.2 million to Professor John Logan of Brown University, the U.S. 2010 project is an investigation of the subtle shifts and long-term trends in American life and an analysis of what these developments may mean for the future. You can learn more here.
Global Neighborhoods: New Evidence from Census 2010


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