Black Locational Attainment in the U.S. and the Role of Middle Class Neighborhoods in the Post-Civil Rights Era, 1970-2010

D Augustus Anderson, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Using confidential Decennial Census 1970-2000 and ACS 2006-2010 data, this research examines the ability of Blacks and Whites to convert individual socioeconomic status into access to quality neighborhoods--traditional neighborhood indicators (racial composition and median household income) and alternative neighborhood indicators (middle-class and in-group middle class proportions). It also considers the effects of metropolitan indicators specifically the size of the metropolitan middle class in-group population in accessing these spaces. Black progress appears bleak when considering their access to neighborhoods measured by traditional indicators; however, Blacks have made huge gains as it relates to their individual middle class attributes. Blacks appear to have a stronger relationship when selecting Black middle class neighborhoods over alternative middle class neighborhoods including White middle class neighborhoods. The place-stratification model does not account for the divergence in these findings; however, the minority mobility of culture model supports the selection of Black middle class neighborhoods over mainstream neighborhoods.

  See paper

Presented in Session 184: Spatial Patterns and Assimilation