Residential segregation of blacks in Virginia cities :assessing socioeconomic factors
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AbstractUsing data from the 1990 Census of Population and Housing, the relationship between socioeconomic status and residential distribution was examined for the black population in four Virginia cities, Lynchburg, Roanoke, Norfolk, and Richmond. <p>Three indexes were employed to measure degrees of segregation at the census tract level. These indexes were, dissimilarity, interaction, and isolation. The dissimilarity index is a measure of the evenness of residential distribution of minority members. The interaction index is a measure of the probability of minority residential contact with majority members. The isolation index is a measure of the probability of residential isolation of minority members. Census tracts were classified according to the extent of racial changes that took place in these tracts. Socioeconomic status of black residents was measured over two dimensions: education and income. The association between minority socioeconomic achievement and degrees of segregation was estimated with multiple regression. <p>A majority of the regression results supported the human ecology theory that minority spatial assimilation is an outcome of socioeconomic achievements. Findings also suggested that the relationship between minority socioeconomic status and degrees of segregation did not vary in strength in the hierarchical pattern predicted by previous human ecology studies of segregation. The findings provide a minor departure from the traditional theory of human ecology. The regression models estimating the effects of socioeconomic variables on residential dissimilarity and residential isolation showed statistical significance. The regression models estimating the effects of socioeconomic variables on residential contact did not show statistical significance. This might suggest that present measures of residential segregation and socioeconomic status need to improved.