Segregation in U.S. economic not racial

June 13, 2012 at 3:47 PM

CHICAGO, June 13 (UPI) -- The concept of segregation in U.S. neighborhoods has shifted from race-based separation to economic, a study of census data by Northwestern University revealed.

The Institute for Policy Research at the Illinois school said Wednesday that black and Hispanic residents of poor neighborhoods often have neighbors from other ethnic groups who also are struggling to get by.

"Nationally there is evidence that as racial segregation has been slowly going down that income segregation has been going up," sociology Professor Lincoln Quillian said in a written statement. "Blacks and Hispanics often are co-residing with poorer members of their racial groups."

Quillian said the research, which was based on the 2000 census, indicates changes are necessary for academics and urban policymakers seeking to eliminate local pockets of poverty, including a shift away from seeing segregation as simply a color-based issue.

"Policies that aim to provide broader housing choices may not de-concentrate poverty if blacks and Hispanics can only find places [to live] in the most disadvantaged desegregated neighborhood," Quillian said.

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