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Racial Segregation in the 2000 Census: Promising News

Overall black/non-black segregation levels are currently at their lowest point since roughly 1920. This survey finds that while there are still a large number of “hypersegregated” metropolitan areas, the 1990s continued a three-decade trend towards decreasing residential segregation throughout the U.S. It suggests that comparatively low levels of segregation in the sunbelt reflect the fact that growth facilitates change. In parts of the country that are not growing, neighborhood patterns most resemble those of the metropolitan area when it was built and when the United States was much more segregated than it is today. By contrast, fast-growing cities in the West and South have no pre-determined residential patterns, [and] segregation patterns have adjusted to what appears to be a new norm of a more integrated America.

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