A new study by Samuel Kye, a doctoral student in the Department of Sociology in Indiana University Bloomington's College of Arts and Sciences, was published earlier this week in Science Daily. The study, using Census tracts from all over the nation to examine residential patterns, is "one of the first to look at white Americans' response to the influx of suburban ethnic populations."
According to Kye, "the sheer force of immigration and suburbanization has resulted in the unmistakable rise of middle-class yet ethnic suburban communities. However, my research shows that despite their distinct middle-class character, ethnoburbs have lost a steady flow of white residents over the past 20 years."
Unlike the utopian image of suburban middle-class melting pots, "the once majority-white suburbs in Kye's study appeared especially sensitive to the growth and emergence of non-white populations. Levels of 'white flight' and segregation attributable to the presence of minority groups were distinctly higher in suburbs than in urban neighborhoods." However, according to Kye, one silver lining of the study shows that, "the level of suburban segregation for most minority groups had stopped increasing and began instead to decrease from 1990 to 2010—except for African American neighborhoods."
Moreover, "the fact that levels of segregation for blacks continue to grow even in their middle-class communities," raises questions about future declines in black/white segregation.