Trajectories of Ethnoracial Diversity in American Communities, 1980-2010

Matthew Hall, Cornell University
Laura M. Tach, Cornell University
Barrett A. Lee, Pennsylvania State University

The US population has become increasingly diverse along racial-ethnic lines over the last several decades. Yet at the local level, the pathways of diversity have been highly uneven, with some locales diversifying rapidly, others taking a more gradual path, and others moving in the opposite direction (toward racial homogeneity). This paper explores the different paths of diversification that US communities have taken over the last three decades, and evaluates the unique racial/ethnic arrangements that determined them. We assess these trajectories of change using growth mixture models which identify distinct classes of diversity growth (or decline). We discuss the implications of our findings for broader processes of racial/ethnic incorporation.

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Presented in Session 227: Urbanization and Urban Change