Racial and Ethnic Residential Segregation in the United States: 1980-2000

John Iceland, U.S. Census Bureau
Daniel H. Weinberg, U.S. Census Bureau

Residential segregation has been the subject of considerable research. A tour through any major American city reveals that many neighborhoods are racially and ethnically homogenous. In addition to controversies about the causes and consequences of segregation are substantial disagreements as to how to best measure it. Massey and Denton (1988) identified 19 segregation indexes and distinguished five key dimensions of segregation: evenness, exposure, concentration, centralization, and clustering. Based on Massey and Denton's recommendations, we analyze trends in segregation using one index from each of the five dimensions over the 1980 to 2000 period. Using data from Decennial Censuses, we explore not only trends in Black/White segregation, but also the segregation of Hispanics, Asians and Pacific Islanders, and American Indians and Alaska Natives. We present a variety of descriptive statistics and discuss how each of the various measures contribute to our understanding of racial and ethnic group residential patterns.

Presented in Session 70: Census 2000: New Trends