A new study indicates that Atlanta is one of the most economically segregated cities in the U.S.
The study, conducted by the Urban Institute and titled “The Cost of Segregation: National Trends and the Case of Chicago, 1990–2010,” utilized demographic data from 1990 to 2010 and specifically examined the relationships between race, income and de facto segregation for numerous American cities.
Atlanta ranked 38th out of the top 100 cities analysed in the report in economic segregation, which is a phenomenon in which people of similar economic statuses tend to live in the same area; according to research by the Pew Center, roughly 70 percent of Americans lived in middle-income or mixed-income neighborhoods in 2010, though the number of lower and higher income households living in areas with similar economic standards had increased by 8 percent and doubled, respectively, over the course of the prior 30 years.
In this category, New York City ranked first with the most economic segregation and Eugene, Oregon was the least.
Atlanta further ranked 26th in Latino-white segregation and 41st in black-white segregation. The most segregated metro areas in those categories were Milwaukee, Wisconsin and Reading, Pennsylvania respectively, with greater disparities between cities towards the top of the black-white segregation list. Eugene, Oregon was again the least segregated metro area in these two categories — however, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported in their article on the research that Eugene is 85 percent white and less than 1 percent black.
The report frames this data analysis within the context of prospective economic benefits to greater integration. The report finds that more economically and racially inclusive regions tend to have higher black per capita and median household incomes, higher degrees of education, lower homicide rates and higher overall life expectancies.