Class differences in African American residential patterns in US metropolitan areas: 1990-2000

John Iceland, Cicely Sharpe, Erika Steinmetz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

92 Scopus citations


In this study we examine changing patterns of residential segregation between African Americans and non-Hispanic Whites of different income, occupational, and educational levels over the 1990-2000 period. Using the dissimilarity and isolation indexes, we find that higher SES African Americans generally live in more integrated neighborhoods than lower SES African Americans, though differences are moderate. There were also modest declines in segregation for many, though not all, SES groups from 1990 to 2000. Residential segregation across SES groups within race groups is substantially lower than segregation between Blacks and non-Hispanic Whites. These findings illustrate that race continues to be the most significant factor in explaining residential outcomes, though class explains a moderate and increasing proportion of the difference in Black and White residential patterns. Results also show that segregation between higher and lower-SES Blacks declined slightly in the 1990s, indicating that, in contrast to previous decades, disadvantaged Blacks are no longer becoming increasingly isolated from other Blacks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)252-266
Number of pages15
JournalSocial Science Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Sociology and Political Science


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