New census data released showed that even affluent Blacks and Hispanics making more than $75,000 per year live in poorer neighborhood than their average lower-income White counterparts who earn just $40,000 per year.

The news supports what many have witnessed for years: segregation is still very much apart of our lives.

The USA Today reports:

“Separate translates to unequal even for the most successful black and Hispanic minorities,” says sociologist John Logan, director of US2010 Project at Brown University, which studies trends in American society.

“Blacks are segregated and even affluent blacks are pretty segregated,” says Logan, who analyzed 2005-09 data for the nation’s 384 metropolitan areas. “African Americans who really succeeded live in neighborhoods where people around them have not succeeded to the same extent.”

The disparities are strongest in large metro areas in the Northeast and Midwest where segregation has always been high. It’s lowest in more recent booming parts of the Sun Belt.

“White middle-class families have the option to live in a community that matches their own credentials,” Logan says. “If you’re African American and want to live with people like you in social class, you have to live in a community where you are in the minority.”

Washington D.C. and Atlanta are the only two metro areas that buck the trend, but the data is depressing.

Because neighborhood poverty levels are linked to lower quality schools and lessened health care options, even wealthier minorities are shut out of many of the services that their White counterparts access easily.

“Even though they have income comparable to whites, they don’t have access to schools or other neighborhood amenities that would be comparable to those available to white families,” says Howard University sociologist Roderick Harrison. “Some better-off black and Hispanic families are nevertheless living with the same problems poor blacks and Hispanics are living with.”

Even in 2011, when we have a Black president, and minorities have made gains across the board we are still shut out of many of the neighborhoods and the opportunities that our White counterparts enjoy.

I guess separate and unequal lives on.

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  • Many people live basically where they want to live. Have they thought that regardless as to how much an individual makes some people just prefer to self-segregate themselves.

  • Lo

    I’ve noticed that White people tend to be almost obsessed with the neighborhhod they’re renting or buying in and Blacks tens to care more about the actual house itself. We tend to want more for our money which ofen means living farther away from services.

    • adiatc

      That’s true. They are more obsessed with properties that have a higher rate of appreciation even if they are smaller in size. Even in the current recession, areas that whites tend to buy in appreciate at a higher rate (or don’t depreciate at such a high percentage) as monority areas, which adds to their net worth. This is definitely the case in Chicago.That is on top of having choices and creature comforts that most minority neighborhoods don’t have. Then you also need to factor in the crime rate and lack of police protection. But I guess getting ‘more for your money’ and being around people that look like you are much higher priorities than protecting what you work for, having access to services that your taxes pay for and being safe.

  • Ann

    For me it has been diffucult living in poor neighboorhoods trying to earn a decent living. I have suffered harrasment from racists and drug dealing neighbors because they were envious to see me making something of myself and I am sure paranoid. So I too am trying to find a middle ground. It is better to move around people who are culturally and financially similar to you.

    • cupcakes and shiraz

      I agree- I’d rather live in a neighborhood where both the cultures and classes are similar. I have no more in common with a lower-income person of “my race” than I do with people of other races.

    • adiatc

      Well stated!

  • Mo

    I agree with those who say it is often a choice made by the individuals. Obviously when you reach a certain income you really can buy wherever you want and some people still choose to live in “lower income” areas. I think the reasons can be financial (more house for the money or shorter commute) or personal (more if a familial or cultural connection). I think if we were going to look for any racial slant to the inequities, we might question why even a healthy dose of upper and upper middle class blacks in an area is not enough to spawn economic development?

    If you live in a diverse area, drive through an established middle class primarily white area and then do the same with a similiar black area. Oftentimes the style and quality of the houses may be identical. Sometimes, since minorities tend to still have enclaves close to city centers, the black neighborhood will have larger houses/yards. Yet, the black neighborhood’s properties will undoubted be valued less, even when they are well kept and cared for. So economic development in those areas tends to drag. With the lower attractivess of living around fewer amenities, you have a greater chance that lower income people will live in very close proximity to people who are much more well off.

    The fact is, our incomes simply don’t matter as much. When upper and middle class whites move into an area and begin to “gentrify” it, watch the businesses clamor to get a hold in that area. If like incomed blacks start to do the same thing, they will be lucky to get a grocery store let alone other quality shopping/amenties. So even a black area with a large amount of well off black people will still lag behind economically, so there will still be a closer proximity to lower income areas and some of the problems that can be associated with them. You see this a lot in Atlanta and other bigger cities.

    So, I guess the question is why are our neighborhoods still lower income no matter the income of the people who live there?