Migration, segregation, and the geographic concentration of poverty

D. S. Massey, A. B. Gross, K. Shibuya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

373 Scopus citations


We analyze patterns of African-American mobility and white mobility in US cities to determine the causes of geographically concentrated poverty. Using a special tabulation of the Panel Study of Income Dynamics that appends US Census tract data to individual records, we analyze the movement of poor and nonpoor people into and out of five types of neighborhoods: white nonpoor, black nonpoor, black poor, black very poor, and racially and socioeconomically mixed neighborhoods. We find little support for the view that the geographic concentration of black poverty is caused by the out-migration of nonpoor blacks or that it stems from the net movement of blacks into poverty. Rather, our results suggest that the geographic concentration of poor blacks is caused by the residential segregation of African-Americans in urban housing markets. -Authors

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)425-445
Number of pages21
JournalAmerican Sociological Review
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1994

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science


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