Racial segregation is declining, but it remains higher for families with children than those without, a new study shows. Race appears to be a ‘proxy’ for school quality for many white families with children as they decide where and in which school districts they want to live, suggests a new report.
“Neighborhood racial segregation has been in decline since the 1970s, but my findings show it declined more slowly among families with kids,” said USC Assistant Professor Ann Owens, who analyzed 2010 and 2000 U.S. Census data to examine racial segregation trends.
“This means that children are surrounded by greater racial homogeneity in their neighborhoods than adults,” added Owens, a sociologist at the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences. “A lack of diversity could have a significant effect on the development of their racial attitudes and future education and employment.”
In neighborhoods, housing and urban policies have been key for curbing segregation, she said. The Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule of 2015, for example, reiterated the aims of the Fair Housing Act of 1968, requiring municipalities that receive federal housing funds to conduct fair housing assessments.