Residential Income Segregation in the United States

March 1, 2012

Chicago Policy Review conducted an interview with Stanford researchers Sean F. Reardon and Kendra Bischoff, who published a U.S. 2010 project report last year on increasing residential income segregation in America. Here's an excerpt from the interview:

In your report, you discuss the effects of income segregation on children. Can you discuss the long-term consequences you anticipate for children raised in neighborhoods with high income segregation?

The concern we have is that within metropolitan areas, as income is increasingly unequally distributed among neighborhoods and communities so too is the quality of public resources, such as schools. Schools are a focal point because education is important for upward mobility, and schools are also where children spend a great deal of their time. Thus, equality of educational opportunity is important both for equality of outcomes as well as for children’s quality of life. In addition to the actual access to resources, such as schools, green space, and clean air, we are also concerned that the increasing separation of affluent and poor families leads to less interaction between people of different social classes. This could lead to more polarization of political beliefs, as well as less support among the affluent for equality-generating social policies.

Read the full interview. You can find Reardon and Bischoff's study here.

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