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Study: Integrated Neighborhoods More Common Across the U.S.

A Harvard study suggests that since 2000, the number of Americans living in racially integrated neighborhoods has risen. But this may be a temporary effect of gentrification, and integration remains an exception to the rule.
October 13, 2017, 9am PDT | Philip Rojc | @PhilipRojc
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Reporting on their research brief for the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies, study authors Shannon Rieger and Jonathan Spader discuss a rise in integrated neighborhoods since the year 2000.

The study looks at two measures of neighborhood integration: 1) tracts "where no racial or ethnic group accounts for 50 percent or more of the population," and 2) tracts where "any community of color makes up at least 20 percent of the tract population AND if the tract is at least 20 percent white." Both measures suggest increased integration from 2000 through the time period of the 2011-2015 American Community Survey.

Ongoing gentrification may be behind this in some places, rather than long-term integration. Spader and Rieger write, "While some of these neighborhoods may become stably integrated areas, it is not yet clear how many of the newly integrated neighborhoods will become stably integrated and how many will eventually become non-integrated areas." In addition, the majority of Americans still live in neighborhoods that fulfill neither definition of integration.

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Published on Tuesday, September 19, 2017 in Housing Perspectives
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