Suburbanization and segregation in the United States: 1970–2010

Douglas S. Massey, Jonathan Tannen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

76 Scopus citations


Analysis of trends in the suburbanization of whites, blacks, Asians, and Hispanics reveal that all groups are becoming more suburbanized, though the gap between whites and minorities remains large. Although central cities have made the transition to a majority-minority configuration, suburbs are still overwhelmingly white. Levels of minority-white segregation are nonetheless lower in suburbs than in cities. Blacks remain the most segregated group at both locations. Black segregation and isolation levels are declining in cities and suburbs; however, while Hispanic and Asian segregation levels have remained stable, spatial isolation levels have risen. Multivariate analyses suggest that Hispanics achieve desegregation indirectly by using socio-economic achievements to gain access to less-segregated suburban communities and directly by translating their status attainments into residence in white neighbourhoods. Blacks do not achieve desegregation indirectly through suburbanization and they are much less able than Hispanics to use their socio-economic attainments directly to enter white neighbourhoods.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1594-1611
Number of pages18
JournalEthnic and Racial Studies
Issue number9
StatePublished - Jul 15 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cultural Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Sociology and Political Science


  • Asians
  • Hispanics
  • Segregation
  • blacks
  • isolation
  • stratification
  • suburbs


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