US sees rise in residential segregation by income: study
8/1/2012 11:16:23 PM
Rising income inequality in the United States means more people are living in areas where their neighbors are similarly affluent or poor, according to a study published Wednesday.
Residential segregation by income has increased across the country over the past 30 years, said the analysis by the Pew Research Center.
Twenty-eight percent of lower-income households were located in mostly impoverished areas in 2010, up from 23 percent in 1980. Meanwhile, higher-income households living in mostly affluent areas doubled during the same time frame, from nine percent in 1980 to 18 percent in 2010.
"These increases are related to the long-term rise in income inequality, which has led to a shrinkage in the share of neighborhoods across the United States that are predominantly middle class or mixed income," the study said.
Of the ten largest metropolitan areas, New York, at 41 percent, has the highest share of lower-income households in predominantly poor neighborhoods compared with 26 percent in Atlanta, Georgia.
In contrast, the Houston and Dallas metropolitan areas in the US state of Texas top the list of upper-income households located in mostly wealthy neighborhoods, with 24 percent and 23 percent respectively.
The study also found that most of America's neighborhoods are still predominantly middle class but that the number has decreased -- from 85 percent in 1980 to 76 percent in 2010.
The quantity of poor neighborhoods saw an uptick over time, from 12 percent in 1980 to 18 percent in 2010. Wealthy neighborhoods, meanwhile, increased from three percent in 1980 to six percent in 2010.
Still, the report notes that the long-term rise in residential segregation by income remains less widespread than residential segregation by race.