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HOUSEHOLD LOCATION AND RACE: A 20-YEAR RETROSPECTIVE

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  • *The authors are grateful to Cathy Liu and Keith Naughton for excellent research assistance.

Abstract

ABSTRACT In research conducted some 20 years ago, we elucidated the starkly lower suburbanization propensities of black households in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. The paper showed that simulated closure of large socio-economic gaps between blacks and whites did little to diminish prevailing high levels of residential segregation or otherwise enhance moves by black households to areas of educational, employment, and housing opportunity. Some two decades later and in the wake of significant urban evolution, this paper assesses anew racial variations in residential location choice. Results of the multinomial logit (MNL) analysis indicate large, persistent racial differentials in intrametropolitan residential location choice. While black location choice in 2000 was relatively more dispersed than in 1980, it remained remarkably concentrated in D.C. and Prince George's County. As in our prior analysis, results showed that large simulated gains in black economic and educational status had little effect on prevailing racial segregation. These findings underscore the ongoing, limited access of black households to schooling, employment, and homeownership opportunities available outside traditional areas of settlement. In marked contrast, the locational choices of Latino and immigrant households bore greater similarity to those of whites and were more sensitive to improvements in socio-economic status.

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