Taking another angle on residential integration (based on data from the American Community Survey – also reported on here) suggests it is a very slow process. Two sociologists suggest some has changed – metropolitan whites now on average live in neighborhoods that are 74% white (the figure was 88% in 1980). But minorities still have similar segregation figures to 2000:
•Black-white segregation averaged 65.2 in 2000 and 62.7 now.
•Hispanic-white segregation was 51.6 in 2000 vs. 50 today.
•Asian-white segregation has grown from 42.1 to 45.9.
This index score (and I think this is a dissimilarity index) ranges from 0 to 100 with a score of 0 meaning that two groups are completely integrated while a score of 100 means that two groups live completely separately or in different neighborhoods.
Based on this analysis, it looks like the issue of residential segregation is one that will be with us for a long time yet. While there was improvement for some groups, there were negative or very limited changes for other groups. All that said, residential segregation looks like it is still an entrenched feature of American life.