The dimensions of segregation revisited

Douglas S. Massey, Michael J. White, Voon Chin Phua

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

160 Scopus citations


In this article the authors replicate and extend the methodological analysis of Massey and Denton (1988), which conceptualized residential segregation as a multidimensional construct with five axes of spatial variation: evenness, exposure, concentration, centralization, and clustering. To reproduce their work, the authors of this article factor analyzed 20 indexes of segregation computed in 1990 for three groups in 58 metropolitan areas. They extended Massey and Denton's analysis by expanding the set of metropolitan areas to include all 318 defined for 1990, and they broadened it by carrying out systematic comparisons across ethnic groups. This study's analyses reconfirm the multidimensional nature of residential segregation; however, the authors also find that the indexes recommended by Massey and Denton to measure concentration and clustering do not function quite as well in 1990 as in 1980. Alternative indexes are considered as possibilities, but in the end, using the same indexes is recommended to maintain continuity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)172-206
Number of pages35
JournalSociological Methods and Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Nov 1996

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science


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