Diversity and the American Color Line: Patterns of Residential Segregation across Places, 1990-2010

Domenico Parisi, Mississippi State University
Michael Taquino, Mississippi State University

This paper addresses a straightforward question: Are higher levels of place diversity associated with lower levels of residential segregation? We use decennial census data from 1990-2010 to examine how higher diversity relates to patterns of residential segregation, especially between blacks and whites. Census blocks are used as the geographic base to calculate the index of dissimilarly (D) within census places, and use the entropy index (E) to measure place diversity. Preliminary results show that black-white segregation has declined over the three decades, although separation between blacks and whites still remains high when compared to separation between Hispanics and Whites and Asians and Whites. At the same time, place diversity overall has increased. Our results clearly show that, net of other factors, the higher the level of place diversity, the lower the level of residential segregation. Results also show that increases in place diversity leads to lower levels of residential segregation.

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Presented in Session 72: Spatial Diversity of Ethnoracial Populations