The Stability of Neighborhood Racial/Ethnic Diversity in the United States, 1980-2000

Sapna Swaroop, University of Chicago

This study examines the prevalence and stability of racially/ethnically diverse neighborhoods in U.S. metropolitan areas from 1980 through 2000. I extend previous research by (1) evaluating patterns of racial/ethnic transition in a multiethnic context rather than an exclusively white-black context, (2) exploring residential mobility patterns among whites, African Americans, Latinos, and non-Hispanic others in diverse neighborhoods rather than focusing primarily on whites’ mobility patterns, and (3) updating work on stable racial/ethnic diversity through the 1990s. Initial results from analysis of the Neighborhood Change Data Base suggest that although diverse neighborhoods are less stable than homogeneous neighborhoods, patterns of transition do not follow the conventional wisdom that neighborhoods experience diversity solely as a transitional stage between two homogeneous racial/ethnic compositions. Multilevel multivariate models will assess the extent to which prominent theories of racial/ethnic change—racial prejudice, socioeconomic differences, and race-based neighborhood stereotyping—explain racial/ethnic stability and change in neighborhoods with diverse racial/ethnic compositions.

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Presented in Poster Session 6: Migration, Urbanization, Neighborhood and Residential Context