Large metros see persistent patterns of racial segregation – study

by Francis Monfort06 Jul 2018

While the largest metro areas in the US are popularly seen as melting pots, many cities continue to see significant patterns of residential segregation, according to a study released by Apartment List.

The study found that America’s black population remains the most highly segregated minority group. Apartment List noted that in many cases, the initial intent behind creating segregated neighborhoods was to keep black families out of white neighborhoods.

Apartment List found that living in a segregated neighborhood populated mostly by minorities influences not only a person’s rent burden but also the minority’s rate of homeownership.

Families who live in neighborhoods with concentrated minority populations were found to struggle more when it comes to paying rent. The study found that the median renter income among those in census tracts with concentrated minority populations was an average of 28% below the metro-wide median. They were found to have a greater rent burden as the median rents in their neighborhoods are only 12% percent below the metro median.

Additionally, the study found that cities with higher levels of residential segregation usually have wider gaps in the homeownership rates between white and minority households. The gap was found to hold for all minorities. According to Apartment List, not only do black households face the highest rates of residential segregation, but they also tend to have the lowest homeownership rates.

Although residential segregation rates have declined since 2008, the decrease has only been slight. In fact, the study revealed that the metros with the fastest growing populations over that period have seen the smallest reductions, and even the smallest increases, in their residential segregation indexes.


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