Changing Geographic Patterns of High- and Low-Income Groups in Eight United States Metropolitan Areas

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Hafley, Taylor
Digital Commons @ DU
income, poverty, segregation, spatial statistics
thesis / dissertation description
Income segregation produces unequal social outcomes and has steadily increased since the 1970s. High-poverty neighborhoods suffer from low performing schools, fewer jobs, an evaporation of local role models (Wilson 1987; Reardon and Bischoff 2011a). Recent evidence suggests growing income inequality influences the segregation of affluence more than the segregation of poverty (Reardon and Bischoff 2011b). Metropolitan areas that display strong population and economic growth are susceptible to higher levels of income inequality. I use three unique quantitative approaches to measure the segregation of affluence and poverty in a comparison of four metropolitan areas exhibiting strong growth to four metros with weaker growth. I find the increase in income segregation between 1990 and 2010 is attributable to the increase in the segregation of affluence. Weaker metropolitan areas exhibit higher levels of income segregation than strong metros due to their significantly higher levels of segregation of poverty; however, strong metros exhibit higher levels of segregation of affluence.

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