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First published online June 9, 2015

Neighborhood Income Composition by Household Race and Income, 1990–2009

Abstract

Residential segregation, by definition, leads to racial and socioeconomic disparities in neighborhood conditions. These disparities may in turn produce inequality in social and economic opportunities and outcomes. Because racial and socioeconomic segregation are not independent of each other, however, any analysis of their causes, patterns, and effects must rest on an understanding of the joint distribution of race/ethnicity and income among neighborhoods. In this article, we use a new technique to describe the average racial composition and income distributions in the neighborhoods of households with different income levels and race/ethnicity. Using data from the decennial censuses and the American Community Survey, we investigate how patterns of neighborhood context in the United States over the past two decades vary by household race/ethnicity, income, and metropolitan area. We find large and persistent racial differences in neighborhood context, even among households with the same annual income.

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Biographies

Sean F. Reardon is the endowed Professor of Poverty and Inequality in Education and professor (by courtesy) of sociology at Stanford University. His research focuses on the causes, patterns, trends, and consequences of social and educational inequality.
Lindsay Fox is a doctoral candidate in the Economics of Education program and an Institute of Education Sciences fellow at Stanford University’s Center for Education Policy Analysis. Her research interests include teacher contributions to student learning, teacher labor markets, income inequality, and methods for causal inference.
Joseph Townsend is a doctoral candidate in the Educational Policy program at Stanford University’s Center for Education Policy Analysis. His research interests include schools’ efforts at evidence-informed decision-making, and the use and development of technology-based research tools.

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Published In

Article first published online: June 9, 2015
Issue published: July 2015

Keywords

  1. neighborhood economic conditions
  2. racial segregation
  3. socioeconomic segregation
  4. segregation measurement

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History

Published online: June 9, 2015
Issue published: July 2015

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