Volume 31 - Article 20 | Pages 593–624  

The residential segregation of detailed Hispanic and Asian groups in the United States: 1980-2010

By John Iceland, Daniel Weinberg, Lauren Hughes


Background: Racial and ethnic diversity continues to grow in communities across the United States, raising questions about the extent to which different ethnic groups will become residentially integrated.

Objective: While a number of studies have examined the residential patterns of pan-ethnic groups, our goal is to examine the segregation of several Asian and Hispanic ethnic groups - Cubans, Dominicans, Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, Salvadorans, Asian Indians, Chinese, Filipinos, Japanese, Koreans, and Vietnamese. We gauge the segregation of each group from several alternative reference groups using two measures over the 1980 to 2010 period.

Results: We find that the dissimilarity of Hispanics and Asians from other groups generally held steady or declined, though, because most Hispanic and Asian groups are growing, interaction with Whites also often declined. Our analyses also indicate that pan-ethnic segregation indexes do not always capture the experience of specific groups. Among Hispanics, Mexicans are typically less residentially segregated (as measured using the dissimilarity index) from Whites, Blacks, Asians, and other Hispanics than are other Hispanic-origin groups. Among Asian ethnic groups, Japanese and Filipinos tend to have lower levels of dissimilarity from Whites, Blacks, and Hispanics than other Asian groups. Examining different dimensions of segregation also indicates that dissimilarity scores alone often do not capture to what extent various ethnic groups are actually sharing neighborhoods with each other. Finally, color lines vary across groups in some important ways, even as the dominant trend has been toward reduced racial and ethnic residential segregation over time.

Conclusions: The overarching trend is that ethnic groups are becoming more residentially integrated, suggestive of assimilation, though there is significant variation across ethnic groups.

Author's Affiliation

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