Source: Brookings Institution
Every 10 years the census provides us with a view of racial segregation across America’s neighborhoods. We still have a few months before the 2010 census gives us those definitive numbers. However, the recent release of the huge five year data dump of the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey for 2005 through 2009, provides us with a clue about what we can expect.
To be sure, we are a country that is heavily sorted by race and Hispanic status across the 65,000 census tracts (groupings of neighborhoods of 5,000 to 10,000 persons) that span our nation. Although the U.S. minority population grew at five times the rate of whites since 2000, the average white resident lives in a tract that is 79 percent white. The average black resident lives in a tract that is 46 percent black. And while Hispanics comprise only 15 percent of the population, fully 45 percent of their neighbors are also Hispanic. Surely we are far from the residential melting pot that many people envision—but the small sliver of individuals who identify themselves as “multiracial” do live in neighborhoods that are fairly diverse.
New Racial Segregation Measures for States and Large Metropolitan Areas: Analysis of the 2005-2009 American Community Survey