Changing Racial and Poverty Segregation in Large U.S. Metropolitan Areas, 1970-2009

TitleChanging Racial and Poverty Segregation in Large U.S. Metropolitan Areas, 1970-2009
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsMadden, Janice F.
JournalInternational Regional Science Review
AbstractAs African Americans are poorer than non-African Americans, increasing racial integration might lead to increasing poverty integration. Alternatively, if racial segregation pushed higher- and lower-income African Americans to reside together, increasing racial integration may lead higher-income African Americans to sort into higher-income non-African American neighborhoods, decreasing poverty integration. Using consistently bounded census tract data for thirty-six large metropolitan areas (MAs) from 1970 to 2009, a fixed effect model measures the relationship of a census tract’s end of the decade proportions of the metropolitan population by race and poverty status group between 1980 and 2009 to the proportions of each race and poverty group resident in a census tract at the start of the decade. The article finds that racial integration occurs mostly within own poverty groups and poverty integration occurs mostly within own racial groups, making these integration processes largely independent. Poverty and racial segregation were slightly decreased, however, because the nonpoor racially integrated with the poor in a manner consistent with gentrification and status caste exchange theory.