Segregation Indices

Douglas S. Massey

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


Research on residential segregation has been a topic of social science investigation since the first studies were done by sociologists in the Chicago School during the 1920s. For many years, scholars engaged in a spirited debate about how best to measure geographic segregation but a period of methodological peace was created when Duncan and Duncan in 1955 concluded that the index of dissimilarity was the best measure. The methodological debate was renewed in the 1970s but settled once again during the 1980s after Massey and Denton linked the various indices to one of five separate dimensions of segregation. Indices for each of these dimensions are defined and discussed here and current thinking on segregation and its measurement is summarized.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationInternational Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences: Second Edition
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages3
ISBN (Electronic)9780080970875
ISBN (Print)9780080970868
StatePublished - Mar 26 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Social Sciences


  • Centralization
  • Clustering
  • Concentration
  • Dissimilarity
  • Entropy
  • Isolation
  • Segregation


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