Migration Patterns and the Growth of High-Poverty Neighborhoods, 1970–1990
The proportion of the population residing in high-poverty urban areas grew in the 1970s and 1980s (Wilson 1987; Jargowsky 1997). This paper examines why the number of high-poverty neighborhoods increased by using data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics PSID) matched with data on tracts from the decennial census. The main findings are that (1) African Americans are moving into white neighborhoods at a high rate, but the white population is declining in areas with substantial black populations quickly enough that the proportion black in white areas is not increasing and (2) there is no systematic tendency for poverty rates among stayers in poor neighborhoods to increase over time relative to poverty rates of other neighborhood types, although there is some evidence of a larger increase in the poverty rate of moderately poor black neighborhoods than other neighborhood types during the early 1980s recession. Implications of the findings for theories of high-poverty neighborhoods and racial segregation are discussed.
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