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American neighborhoods are Increasingly segregated by income


Not only has income inequality been growing for decades, but segregation among families by income has been on the rise at the same time. A new study by Kendra Bischoff and Sean F. Reardon published by the Russell Sage Foundation shows that over the last 40 years, “sorting” by income has increased so rapidly that Americans are much more likely to be clustered in either low-income neighborhoods or high-income ones, rather than living in middle class areas.

The authors document “a steady decline in the proportion of families living in middle-income neighborhoods from 1970-2009″ that was matched by an increase in families living “at the extremes of the neighborhood income distribution.” Overall income segregation grew by about 29 percent over those 40 years.


As they note, 65 percent of families lived in middle-income areas in 1970 and only 15 percent lived in the extremes of concentrated poverty or wealth. Now a third of families live in those extremes and only 42 percent live in middle class neighborhoods. In fact, the portion of families who live in very affluent areas doubled, as did those living in high-poverty areas.

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Tratto da thinkprogress.org