How segregation concentrates poverty

Douglas S. Massey, Mary J. Fischer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

224 Scopus citations


In this article, we argue that segregation interacts with a variety of structural transformations in society to determine the spatial concentration of poverty. Based on this argument, we then specify a statistical model overcoming methodological problems that have hampered earlier work. Estimates based on US data confirm that racial/ ethnic segregation interacts with structural shifts in society to concentrate poverty. By 1990, a powerful interaction between residential segregation and income inequality had emerged to spatially isolate the poor, an interaction the effects of which were buttressed by weaker interactions between segregation, rising class segregation, and stagnating mean incomes. Our analysis reveals how underlying shifts in socio-economic structure can have very different effects on the concentration of poverty experienced by different groups, depending on the degree of racial/ethnic segregation they experience.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)670-691
Number of pages22
JournalEthnic and Racial Studies
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cultural Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Sociology and Political Science


  • African Americans
  • Concentration
  • Inequality
  • Poverty
  • Race
  • Segregation


Dive into the research topics of 'How segregation concentrates poverty'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this