Rich, Poor Americans More Likely to Live in Separate Neighborhoods

A report by the Pew Research Center states that income inequality has led to a nation more economically segregated.

Posted: 08/13/2012 03:36 PM EDT
Rich, Poor Americans More Likely to Live in Separate Neighborhoods

Income inequality in the United States has increasingly led to a larger number of people gravitating to neighborhoods with residents who are of a similar economic level, according to a recent report by the Pew Research Center.

The report stated that residential segregation by income increased during the past three decades across the United States and in 27 of the nation’s 30 largest major metropolitan areas.


The findings reflect not only an increased level of segregation by income, but also by race.


The report said that 28 percent of lower-income households in 2010 were located in areas where a majority of residents lived in a lower-income census tract, up from 23 percent in 1980. It also stated that 18 percent of upper-income households were located in a majority upper-income census tract, up from 9 percent in 1980.


“Despite the long-term rise in residential segregation by income,” the report states, “it remains less pervasive than residential segregation by race, even though black-white segregation has been falling for several decades.”


The numbers reflect the long-term increase in income inequality, which has led to a shrinkage in the share of neighborhoods across the United States that are predominantly middle class or mixed income, from 85 percent in 1980 to 76 percent in 2010, the report says.

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