Research Finds Latino Segregation Associated with Diminished Social and Economic Outcomes
Latinos seem to be inheriting the segregated urban structures experienced by African Americans and, to a similar extent, the diminished social and economic outcomes associated with segregation, a new NYU Furman Center report finds.
The brief, Black and Latino Segregation and Socioeconomic Outcomes (PDF), by Ingrid Gould Ellen, Jorge de la Roca, and Justin Steil, which was released today by the NYU Furman Center, examines the relationships between metropolitan segregation levels and socioeconomic outcomes for Latinos and African Americans and explores mechanisms to explain these relationships. The brief summarizes the findings of Desvinculado y Desigual: Is Segregation Harmful to Latinos? (PDF), an academic article recently published in the July 2015 edition of The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science.
The research finds that racial gaps in educational and labor market outcomes are significantly wider in U.S. metropolitan areas with higher levels of residential segregation. In more segregated metropolitan areas, both native-born Latinos and African Americans are significantly less likely compared with whites to graduate from high school and college, and are more likely than whites to be neither working nor in school. Additionally, higher levels of segregation are associated with dramatic reductions in earnings for both African Americans and Latinos relative to whites.
The report identifies disparities in neighborhood structures that help to explain the findings. The authors find that racial gaps in neighborhood human capital, access to public services (including public schools), and exposure to neighborhood violence are all wider in more segregated metropolitan areas.
Key findings include:
1. In cities across the country, whites consistently exhibit better socioeconomic outcomes than native-born Latinos and blacks, including:
- High School Graduation: In segregated metropolitan areas, native-born Latinos and native-born African Americans are significantly less likely than whites to graduate from high school.
- College Graduation: Native-born Latinos and native-born African Americans in segregated metropolitan areas are less likely than whites to complete college.
- Idleness (neither working nor in school): Native-born Latinos and native-born African Americans in segregated metropolitan areas are more likely than whites to be neither working nor in school.
- Earnings: Higher levels of segregation are associated with dramatic reductions in earnings for both African Americans and Latinos relative to whites.
2. Place-based mechanisms can help explain the patterns leading to disparities in socioeconomic outcomes associated with segregation:
- Neighborhood Human Capital: Exposure to more educated neighbors can help shape young people’s exposure to role models and access to social networks that facilitate social and economic advancement.
- Public Services: Racial gaps in the exposure to school proficiency increase consistently with segregation, indicating that school quality may be an important mechanism through which segregation operates.
- Violence: Exposure to violence powerfully affects children and shapes their academic trajectories. Urban segregation both enables whites to cluster in neighborhoods that are insulated from violence, and exposes blacks and Latinos to violent crime as segregation levels increase.
For more on this topic, see:
The Dream Revisited: A slow debate on the causes and consequences of racial and economic segregation in neighborhoods and schools.
Working Paper: Desvinculado y Desigual: Is Segregation Harmful to Latinos? (PDF), also published in the July 2015 edition of The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science