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Segregations falls to lowest level in a century

WASHINGTON — America's neighborhoods took large strides toward racial integration in the past decade as blacks and whites chose to live near each other at the highest levels in a century.

Still, segregation in many parts of the United States persisted, with Hispanics in particular turning away from whites.

A broad range of 2009 census data released Tuesday found segregation among blacks and whites increased in 25 percent of the nation's 100 largest metropolitan areas, compared with nearly 50 percent for Hispanics.

The latest figures reflect new generations of middle-class blacks moving to prosperous, fast-growing cities, said William Frey, a demographer at Brookings Institution who reviewed the census data. "In contrast, the faster national growth of Hispanics has led to increased neighborhood segregation," Frey said.

Demographic results from the official 2010 census will be released next spring.

Among other findings from 2009:

• Milwaukee, Detroit and New York were among the most segregated between blacks and whites; cities least likely to be segregated included Las Vegas, Honolulu, Raleigh, N.C., and Albuquerque, N.M.

• There was less Hispanic-white segregation in many large metros such as Seattle, Jacksonville and Las Vegas. But in many smaller neighborhoods of Los Angeles, Boston and Chicago, large numbers of more recently arrived Hispanic immigrants who often speak Spanish at home were clustering together for social support.

• Four New York counties ranked at the top of longest commute times to work, all in excess of 40 minutes: Richmond, Queens, Kings and Bronx. Residents in King, Texas, had the quickest trip: 3.4 minutes.

Segregations falls to lowest level in a century 12/14/10 [Last modified: Monday, November 7, 2011 1:41pm]
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