Separate but equal?

Well, more than fifty years since Brown v. Board, it seems America’s cities are still stuck on the “separate” part of the phrase.

As the results of the Census continue to roll out, the picture of the make up of America’s cities is being evaluated and as the numbers show, progress is slow and hard earned.

In their new report, “The Persistence of Segregation in the Metropolis,” Brown University professor John Logan and Florida State University professor Brian Stults looked at the trend in housing across the U.S. Using the 2010 Census, the pair found that despite increased racial and ethnic diversity, efforts to integrate American cities has slowed and in some places come to a dead halt.

The Most Segregated Cities in America

    1. Detroit, Michigan
    2. Milwaukee, Wisconsin
    3. New York, New York
    4. Newark, New Jersey
    5. Chicago, Illinois
    6. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    7. Miami, Florida
    8. Cleveland, Ohio
    9. St. Louis, Missouri
    10. Nassau-Suffolk, New York

Logan expressed his disappointment with the results telling USA Today:

“This is a surprising result. At worst, it was expected that there would be continued slow progress.”

While advocates of fair housing have worked since the Civil Rights era to secure the passage of legislation to prevent discrimination, the census numbers suggest there is a gap between the laws on the book and actual implementation.

Despite the grim news, there are some bright spots in the numbers on housing. In the last decade, Kansas City, which saw a 7.4 percent decrease in residential segregation.

What do you think of the list of the most segregated cities is the country? Do you live in one of the cities on the lists?  Are you surprised at the state of housing in the country?  Share your thoughts with us Clutchettes!

  • nina

    I’m shocked that Memphis isn’t on there. I’m in Memphis for graduate school & let me tell you, segregation is still alive & kicking. Something as simple as driving across the street will put in you in a totally different neighbor where the difference in class & racial-background from the previous neighborhood is 100% obvious. The juxtaposition is crazy!!

  • jade

    new york???
    wait i guess i can kind of see it… there is chinatown, LES, the village, little korea, little italy, little egypt, harlem, spanish harlem, benhurst, etc etc
    but it doesn’t feel that way.. i guess i never noticed

  • TH

    I can’t believe people are surprised about segregation. Birds of a feather have always flocked together-this is very unlikely to change. In addition: just because people live next to each other doesn’t mean there’s a real sense of community. My mother lives in San Diego and has neighbors of all backgrounds but she couldn’t tell you their names or how long they’ve lived in her complex. Looking at segregation levels doesn’t necessarily tell you how “post-racial” -a ridiculous term in and of itself)-the country is. People living in the same community doesn’t equal people getting along.

  • A Black Malfunction

    Yeah, NY has always been a different type of segregated to me. I was kind of surprised to see it myself but after further thought it does make sense, however, it’s not a segregation that makes you feel uncomfortable.

    Soooo not surprised Chicago made this list! I just moved here recently and I can definitely feel the segregation and racial divide no matter where I go. It definitely contrasts to NY and even Miami in feelings of discomfort.

  • Alexandra

    Yes, I agree with the both of you. New York City is kinda segregated, but not because of racial tensions or anything.
    A lot of New Yorkers are 1st/2nd + generations of recent immigrants. There are a lot of ethnic enclaves all over the city. Each borough has a Chinatown, a Latin American communities, Caribbean, Italian, etc;

  • Kw

    I am not surprised Chicago is on here. I moved here 4 years ago and was a bit surprised. I then saw a special on tv that described how blacks that moved here during the Great Migration were limited to living on the south and west sides (regardless of economic status). Now, their children and grandchildren continue to live in the same area. It is understandable. Most of the black people that I’ve met that do live on the north side are from another city like me. It isn’t only a black and white thing though…you have your irish hood, polish hood, puerto rican hood, mexican hood, etc. Chicago is super diverse (which is why I love it) but everyone has their isn’t a bad thing. People naturally flock to those that sort of look like them.

  • TH

    Agree. I knew a lot of black folks on the North side (especially up near Uptown) that were born and raised in the city. I’ve lived all over the city (except the west side-I ain’t gangsta enough). Now I own a condo in Bronzeville and love it :D

  • emr

    I don’t know, I wish that they didn’t study segregation based on U.S. Census and housing. When you do that, of course you’re going to find segregated results. You won’t find majority of black people living in white (rich) neighborhoods. I’m surprised; I don’t think Miami should be on that list.

  • Isis

    Well, I’m from Philly but I live close to Miami. I’m not shocked at either

  • FattieSoSlim

    Well on the more positive side… Can we get a list of the most racially integrated cities?

  • alyssa j.

    I agree. I would like to see that list.

  • ceecee

    i’ve been considering moving to philly…guess i need to re-think it.

  • Jane

    I am not surprised at all. Being from Milwaukee originally I can honestly say that there is your typical “good side” and “bad side” of town and to be quite honest these worlds never collide. You have the innercity which may travel to the South Side of the city for finer restaurants and shopping but you dont see those same patrons traveling to the North side for anything. I have visited many of the cities on this list and I can say the same thing, you have the predominatly “white” side of town and then you just have the others. It is a shame, but unfortunately it is reality.

  • Isis

    Its a black city. If you want that, its a good place to be.

  • Fox

    St. Louis belongs on the list for sure. The truth is, most people want to live around others that look like them. Just like non-blacks don’t want to come to the north side, many blacks don’t want to go too far into south city here. It goes both ways. It doesn’t bother me. What does bother me is when whites treat you funny when you are in a place of business in “their” neighborhoods.

    Also notice all of them, except Florida, are Midwest and further north. I find that interesting.

  • Jon

    “the census numbers suggest there is a gap between the laws on the book and actual implementation.”

    This indicates a misunderstanding of the laws and racial geography. It is illegal to discriminate in housing based on race (e.g. restrictive covenants or real estate agents steering clients). But it is perfectly legal for people to choose to live near other people of a given racial group. There need not be any failure in implementation for there to be continued segregation in housing.

  • Jon

    I wouldn’t be so quick to draw generalizations about region of the country. If you examine Table 1 of black-white segregated cities in the report, Los Angeles is the 14th most segregated city while Minneapolis-St. Paul is 40th. Houston is only 10 percentage points less segregated than St. Louis while Atlanta is slightly more segregated than Warren, MI.

  • RaymondC

    I’m surprised that they didn’t mention the Los Angeles metropolitan region. In the Los Angeles area (which includes most of Orange County, the San Fernando Valley region and the Inland Empire), you have very strong, distinct enclaves of African-Americans (South Central), Hispanics (especially East Los Angeles and Santa Fe Springs), Chinese (Alhambra and Monterey Park), Koreans (Koreatown section of Los Angeles, which has revived in recent years), Japanese (Torrance especially with many Japanese companies located there supporting the US subsidiaries of Honda and Toyota) and Vietnamese (Westminster and Garden Grove).

  • gthog61

    Who the Hell cares as long as people can live where they want?

  • TexEd

    You can reach the same conclusion with another calculation. Hypothesize the American cities with the most entrenched democrat political machines, those that have been in almost absolute power for the longest time and you’ll get about the same list. Understand that the democrats actually hate blacks and still believe that they should still own them all!

  • Chrissy

    I can most def see Miami

  • Curtis Woods II

    I live in Kansas City and my wife is from St. Louis. Who ever wrote this article is skewed. I would argue Kansas City Mo is the most segregated cities in America. The “Red Line” of Troost from 75th to Downtown has not changed since the 40′s. It is kind of insulting that this article was wrote without forethought. Someone this data on the wall to see what would stick,

  • Curtis Woods II

    Miami should not be on the list. The person that wrote this article does not get it. Or maybe they do and they want to see how stupid they think we are.

  • Curtis Woods II

    Well said, you should of wrote this article.

  • Curtis Woods II

    Name one and explain why you think it is integrated. Not as easy as you think.

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