The effect of Residential Segregation on Black Social and Economic Well-Being

Douglas S. Massey, Gretchen A. Condran, Nancy A. Denton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

250 Scopus citations


This paper investigates some of the consequences of black residential segregation using specially compiled data for Philadelphia in 1980. Blacks, like whites, attempt to improve their neighborhood characteristics with rising social status, but unlike whites, they face strong barriers to residential mobility. As a result, high status blacks must live in neighborhoods with fewer resources and amenities than whites of similar background. Specifically, they live in poorer, more dilapidated areas characterized by higher rates of poverty, dependency, crime, and mortality, and they must send their children to public schools populated by low income students who score badly on standardized tests. These findings suggest that racial segregation remains an important basis for stratification in U.S. society.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)29-56
Number of pages28
JournalSocial Forces
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 1987

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • History
  • Anthropology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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