Chicago Is Still America's Most Segregated City

By aaroncynic in News on Jan 31, 2012 5:40PM

2012_01_31_map_segregation.jpg
This map of Chicago was created by Eric Fischer, modeled after Bill Rankin's map of Chicago's racial and ethnic divides Each dot represents 25 people, based on 2000 census numbers. Red is White, Blue is Black, Green is Asian, Orange is Hispanic, Gray is Other.

A report from the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research found that while Chicago has experienced significant decline in racial segregation in the past decade, it still remains the most segregated city in the United States. The Sun-Times reports the study, conducted by professors from Harvard and Duke, both fellows at a conservative think tank, examined data dating all the way back to 1890 and found that cities in America are more integrated than any time since 1910. The report also found that “all white neighborhoods are effectively extinct.”

Chicago saw the second largest decline in segregation, trailing Houston. Gentrification, African Americans moving to the suburbs, better credit access and fair housing laws were given credit for the decline.

While the decline in segregation is encouraging, Chicago still has a very long way to go before it becomes a truly integrated city. While overt racism might play less of a role, things like economic disparity, employment and achievement gaps remain key factors. Rep. Danny Davis told the Sun Times “In some instances, the race question rises up, but in most instances, that’s not what rises up. What rises up, is can you pay the mortgage? Can you pay the rent.”