SEGREGATION: NEIGHBORHOOD EXPOSURE BY RACE
Unless there is complete integration, the average racial composition of
neighborhoods where whites live differs from the average racial composition of neighborhoods
lived in by blacks, by Hispanics, or
by other groups. To examine this, we calculate the average racial composition of neighborhoods
experienced by members of each racial group. These are sometimes referred to as "exposure
indices". This is because they show the exposure a given race group experiences with members of
their own and each other race (percentaged to 100)
in an average neighborhood of the city (or metropolitan area) being examined.
SEGREGATION: DISSIMILARITY INDICES
The dissimilarity index is the most commonly used
measure of segregation between two groups, reflecting their relative
distributions across neighborhoods within a city or metropolitan area. It
can range in value from 0, indicating complete integration, to 100,
indicating complete segregation. In most cities and metro areas,
however, the values are somewhere between those extremes.
Although it is possible to average the data and to
identify some regional
trends, it is important to note that there is no single way that residential
segregation functions in America. One can find instances of both high and
low levels of segregation for every combination of racial groups.