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28Mar

Less segregated communities aren’t only more inclusive. They’re more prosperous.

By: Mark Treskon

Published: March 28, 2017

Segregation is associated with many negative effects. It concentrates social, economic, and environmental resources and hazards, and it harms people living in distressed and isolated neighborhoods. Regions with high degrees of segregation stratify access to education and other public services, opportunities for social interaction, and labor market prospects.

But what are the costs of segregation on metropolitan regions? How does segregation diminish economic vibrancy in a region and its residents’ earnings potential?

More inclusive, or less segregated, regions have higher average incomes and educational attainment and lower homicide rates. Our new report, The Cost of Segregation: National Trends and the Case of Chicago, 1990–2010, finds that building more inclusive regions can deliver dividends that come through providing greater access to opportunity:

  • More economically inclusive regions have higher black per capita and black median household income.
  • More racially inclusive regions with lower levels of black-white segregation have higher black median household income, higher bachelor’s degree attainment for both blacks and whites, and lower homicide rates.
  • Regions with lower levels of Latino-white segregation have higher overall life expectancy.

How segregated are we today?

Trends in segregation have varied over time. Economic segregation fell in the 1990s but increased in the 2000s, and Latino-white segregation increased in both the 1990s and the 2000s. Black-white segregation declined over this period, but blacks and whites are more segregated from one another than Latinos and whites.

To read more, click here. 

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