Unequal Neighborhoods: Trends in Spatial Concentrations of Affluence

Claudia Solari, University of California, Los Angeles

The residential distribution of diverse socioeconomic groups is an important aspect of social stratification. This study focuses on the distribution of income and wealth across U.S. neighborhoods, and how those have changed over time. Substantial attention paid to the prevalence and persistence of poor neighborhoods offers only a picture of economic deprivation. In order to understand social inequality, the full spectrum of the economic distribution, from deprivation to affluence, must be considered. I will extend past research on residential segregation by investigating the spatial divisions between affluent, non-affluent/non-poor and poor neighborhoods. I describe the prevalence of neighborhood types, calculate geographic indices for assessing spatial segregation, and look at neighborhood change in the U.S. between 1970 and 2000, a period of increasing income inequality. This paper will enhance our understanding of economic residential segregation and offer insight on a relatively understudied dimension of social stratification.

  See paper

Presented in Session 27: Spatial Demography