Science & Tech

Race, place, and segregation

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Redrawing the color line in our nation’s metro areas

Researchers for the Civil Rights Project at Harvard University, using U.S. census data from 2000, examined whether three major metropolitan areas — Boston, Chicago and San Diego — continue to be segregated. They found that segregation persists, and has even expanded into new areas. Residents of Chicago’s metropolitan area , for instance, are redrawing the color line, this time in the suburbs. Since the early 1980s, African-Americans and Latinos have increasingly moved to the suburbs, but they have not been welcomed into all communities. Rather, they are experiencing segregation equivalent to that experienced in the inner city. This is showing up not only in census data but also in the Civil Rights Project’s study of recent home buying patterns, which indicate that, if left unaddressed, segregation is only likely to spread. The reports on housing trends census data in Boston, Chicago and San Diego were commissioned by CommUNITY 2000, a partnership of the Leadership Conference Education Fund, the National Fair Housing Alliance, and regional leaders. Despite this gloomy picture there are some hopeful trends. There are certain suburbs that are stabilizing racially and becoming more integrated.