The findings on segregation are based on a pair of demographic measures that track the degree to which racial groups are evenly spread between neighborhoods. Both measures showed declines in black-white segregation from 2000 to the lowest in generations.
For instance, the average white person now lives in a neighborhood that is 79 percent white, compared to 81 percent in 2000. The average black person lives in a 46 percent black neighborhood, down from 49 percent. For Hispanics, however, their average neighborhood last year was 45 percent Hispanic, up slightly from 44 percent.
Yeah, I don't see yet that those are very big changes in terms of the sheer numbers. A couple percent here or there in the absolute degree
of segregration -- but still pretty segregated? In addition, reducing the percent of one group does not show that the difference has been occupied by say, Whites as opposed to Hispanics or Asians. The article is hinting that there is actually more Black-White integration in places. I haven't found their numbers or method to support that precisely.
America's neighborhoods took large strides toward racial integration in the last decade as blacks and whites chose to live near each other at the highest levels in a century.
I would like to see more evidence that this is largely a matter of "choice" as opposed to necessity. That sounds iffy, at best. We're also on the end of a string of a couple decades when most of the low-income housing projects in American cities have been taken away. Government has generally pushed to have Black communities dispersed into various "mixed" neighborhoods on the theory that placing individual Black families closer to middle-income White families (often either along the suburban rings or by new niche business complexes) would undo a so-called "culture of poverty" -- or various other nasty words for supposed Black "cultural" abnormality.
On the whole, the relocations have generally meant that Blacks lose access to alternative sources of income and support in their communities, and they tend to be located farther from jobs and with patchier public transportation. Ongoing studies in Atlanta seem to suggest that some Black families enjoy the relative quiet of their new locations ("no shooting"), particularly those with young children. However, many are still bound to whatever location they are in based on a voucher system. Not a few of those locations were suggested by the Housing Authority to begin with, with pressure of tight deadlines to relocate. The rentals they have post-relocation are generally more expensive than where they were. The current locations are not necessarily watched to the same extent for how they treat the lower-income residents.
Lower levels of segregation also don't mean that many Blacks have actually made it to high income neighborhoods in any absolute sense. Government policies have built up infrastructure and housing in suburbs as opposed to city centers. They just have not generally offered good public transportation to link the suburbs efficiently with jobs in the center. Among the suburbs, there are often rings: lower-income Blacks at one level, followed by Blacks with just slightly higher income (a few managing lower middle-class), mixing with Hispanic and then more White. What does "neighborhood" really mean when so many of these areas are divided among rental units and where many people don't even know their neighbors' names? I don't know.
The latest figures reflect new generations of middle-class blacks moving to prosperous, fast-growing cities, said William H. Frey, a demographer at Brookings Institution who reviewed the census data.
This sounds nice, but I'd ask what percentage of Blacks qualify as middle class and where among "middle" those families tend to fall (while noting that the middle class on the whole, has been sapped pretty well by central policy).