Census Report: Cities More Integrated Than in 100 Years

The Census Bureau starts a massive data dump. We'll try to put the findings in context.

By Kai Wright Dec 14, 2010

Interesting news from the Census Bureau: residential segregation fell to the lowest mark in a century last year, driven by an increasing mix of blacks and whites living in the suburbs. In roughly three quarters of the 100 largest metropolitan areas, black-white residential segregation fell, according to the AP’s report on the findings. I’ll look at the data more closely tomorrow, but here’s what [AP says about it](http://www.ajc.com/news/nation-world/black-segregation-in-us-775390.html): >Milwaukee, Detroit and Syracuse, N.Y., were among the most segregated, all part of areas in the Northeast and Midwest known by some demographers as the "ghetto belt." On the other end of the scale, cities that were least likely to be segregated included Fort Myers, Fla., Honolulu, Atlanta and Miami. > >Hispanic integration was mixed. There was less Hispanic-white segregation in cities and suburbs in many large metros such as Buffalo, Washington, D.C., and Chicago, according to preliminary census figures. But in many smaller neighborhoods, large numbers of more recently arrived Hispanic immigrants are believed to be clustering together for social support, experts said. Cities with technology-based economies had lower segregation rates overall, AP reports. (I spent February in Houston–one such technology economy–reporting on the [2010 Census effort](http://colorlines.com/archives/2010/05/america_vs_the_census.html) and, for what it’s worth, I saw no sign of this integration.) The Census Bureau is at the front end of a huge data dump. It’s releasing the more granular data it has culled from [rolling household surveys](http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/american_community_survey_acs/cb10-cn90.html) over the past five years and, soon, for the massive 2010 Census that will guide reapportionment, among other things, next year. Next month, we’ll be digging into all the data and putting trends like the segregation findings in context.