housing segregation

housing seg

In the previous post, I mentioned that I was looking for some housing segregation data. Here’s some, where the index is the percentage of a metropolitan’s black population that would have to move in order to have neighborhoods reflect the overall racial composition of the metropolitan area. In other words, this number represents how far the metropolitan area deviates from an even spread of minority populations.

Now, one important point is that this index does not control for income. In other words, many times segregation results from the fact that minorities have less money and so live where housing is cheaper (this may raise problems of its own, but the problem isn’t specifically intolerant neighborhoods).

Also, this data is not meant to be normative, there may be many acceptable reasons for segregation. Now, there are many sinister possible explanations as well, and I’m not denying that they might be right, but whatever they are, they are not borne out by this data.

Boston ranks 68th which I think is pretty good, with New York at 4 and Chicago at 5. Big D is at 110. Uh huh.

Here’s the dissimilarity index plotted against total population, which shows a loose association between a city’s size and its segregation. Y axis is population with the top being 10,000,000

pop v. dissimilarity index


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