Lewis Mumford Center


In the News . . .

The persistent and changing nature of segregation in the nation's largest metro areas continues to be the topic of much discussion, and the information found on this web page has contributed to this discussion. Dr. John Logan presented our initial findings to a wide audience at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., on April 3, 2001. The news conference, organized by Professor Gary Orfield of Harvard University's Civil Rights Project, included representatives of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, National Council of La Raza, National Asian Pacific Legal Consortium, and the National Fair Housing Alliance.

Click here for a summary of these presentations, prepared by civilrights.org, with links to the web pages of these organizations.


There are two other major sources of information on trends in residential segregation:

The Brookings Institution's Center on Urban and Metropolitan Policy released a report, authored by Edward Glaeser and Jacob Vigdor, on segregation of blacks from non-blacks using data on census tracts. The Appendix of this report lists values of the Index of Dissimilarity and Isolation Index for 291metropolitan regions. Click here to connect to the Brookings report [http://www.brook.edu/dybdocroot/es/urban/census/glaeser.pdf].

The Associated Press compiled data for major cities in 1990 and 2000, calculating the Index of Dissimilarity at the block level between non-Hispanic whites and each minority group. For more information contact the Director of AP's Computer Assisted Reporting Department, Frank Bass (fbass@ap.org). Calculations were done by Dianne Finch (Dianne.Finch@verizon.net). Click here to see Dianne Finch's story on Moreno Valley, CA, the city with the lowest level of black-white segregation in America. The links below show a spreadsheet listing dissimilarity indices for all cities over 100,000 population:

Dissimilarity 2000
Dissimilarity 1990


In January 2000 The Detroit News published a series on "The Cost of Segregation." The series focused on Detroit and its suburbs; particularly on black-white relations. Each week the newspaper included a special insert filled with relevant stories:

The Cost of Segregation Part I: Racial Attitudes
The Cost of Segregation Part II: Paying for Preferences
The Cost of Segregation Part III: Where We're Headed

A Community Forum was held in Detroit on January 18, 2002, sponsored by The Detroit News and WDIV-TV (Channel 4) and led by the national Conference for Community and Justice. Reports were published as:

The Cost of Segregation. Part IV: Community Forum.

On November 3, 2002, the Detroit News published an update that evaluated the relative importance of race and class in the Detroit case:

The Cost of Segregation Part V: The Impact of Affluence

In January 2002, The Detroit News conducted "CyberSurveys" of its readers to uncover residents' attitudes about these issues. Click on any of the cyber-questions to see the results of the polling and read e-mail messages sent in by many readers.

Is the improvement in black/white relations permanent?
Will segregation end on its own?
Does segregation hurt blacks?
Does segregation hurt whites?
Does segregation hurt Detroit's reputation?


In January 2003 The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel published a series of stories about black-white segregation. These stories reported on a study by researchers at a local university where "integration" was measured as the percent of the population living in census tracts that were at least 20% black and 20% white. By this measure, Milwaukee was ranked as average in "integration," in contrast to widely used measures that showed Milwaukee to be one of the most segregated metro areas in the nation.

Though we consider this approach to be flawed, this series of stories is interesting because it reveals the sensitivity of local institutions and
public officials to the realities of segregation. Subsequent letters to the editor, columns by other local journalists, and stories reporting public reaction to the series also illustrate the presence of many diverse views about the Milwaukee situation. Bringing together in one place the full coverage about segregation in Milwaukee may help to inform discussions on this issue in other parts of the nation.

Click here to see this series and related stories.


As new census data are released, the Dr. Logan's research team and others continue to report on the nation's racial and ethnic diversity
and residential segregation. These reports are often in the news and some are reproduced here. Click on the categories below for a
chronological list of stories in each area or scan the headlines also in chronological order:

General commentaries on segregation
Overall trends in residential segregation
Segregation in the suburbs
Articles focusing on Asian Americans
Articles focusing on Hispanics
Articles focusing on people of Muslim origin
Articles focusing on white ethnic groups
Segregation of children
School segregation
Segregation and homeownership
Separate and Unequal
Diversity in the black population
Economic segregation
Ethnic change and local politics

The Census Bureau released information on economic and immigration indicators for metropolitan areas in June 2002. Following are stories related to issues that we followed closely:

State of the Cities
New Americans
Suburban Advantage