The residential segregation patterns of whites by socioeconomic status, 2000-2011

Gregory Sharp, John Iceland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


In light of increasing racial and ethnic diversity, a recent housing crisis, and deep economic recession, arguments pertaining to the role of socioeconomic status (SES) in shaping patterns of racial/ethnic segregation remain salient. Using data from the 2000 decennial census and the 2007-2011 American Community Survey, we provide new evidence on the residential segregation patterns of whites from minorities by SES (income, education, and poverty). Results from our comprehensive analyses indicate that SES matters for the segregation patterns of whites from minorities. In particular, we find that whites as a whole are less segregated from higher-SES minority group members than lower-SES ones. Among whites, those of higher SES are more segregated from blacks and Hispanics as a whole and less segregated from Asians, indicating the importance of SES differentials across racial/ethnic groups in shaping residential patterns. We also find that during the 2000s, white-black segregation remained stable or declined, while whites became more segregated from Hispanics and Asians by all SES indicators. Fixed-effects models indicate that increasing white-minority SES segregation was fueled in part by increases in a metropolitan area's immigrant and elderly populations, minority poverty rate, and home values, while declining segregation was associated with rising education levels and new housing construction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1046-1060
Number of pages15
JournalSocial Science Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Sociology and Political Science


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