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In the United States, periodic assessments of racial segregation and income segregation have been done to understand the level of segregation. According to Glaeser and Vigdor (2012), the dissimilarity index for the black community has been reducing consistently each year - in 1980, it was 72.7, 1990 it was 67.8 and in 2000, it further reduced to 64.0 (Glaeser and Vigdor, 2012). Among all the communities, the black community is the one which is segregated the most and the segregation is most dominant in metropolitan cities such as Chicago, New York, Detroit, Washington D. C and Los Angeles (Glaeser and Vigdor, 2012).

This is followed by the Hispanic population, which had a dissimilarity index of 50.9 in 2000 (Glaeser and Vigdor, 2012). On one hand, the segregation due to race reduced when compared to the earlier years, the segregation due to income increased between the rich and poor form 0.29 to 0.43 (Glaeser and Vigdor, 2012; Iceland et al, 2002). When statistics related to both racial and income segregation were combined, it revealed that more than half of the people who belonged to the racial community had lower income levels and thus, they lived in segregated communities and did not live in a neighborhood where the population consisted of a majority of white people.

The United States has a long history of segregation because of laws and legislations which were enacted before the Civil Rights movement where races were kept apart in public places, educational institutions, prohibition of interracial marriages and lack of voting rights for the black. As per the Fair Housing Act of 1968, there should not be any discrimination in housing based on factors such as race, color, ethnic origin, religion and sexual orientation (Schwartz, 2008).

However, according to Schwartz, redlining (providing services at increased costs based on race, gender or ethnic origin) and mortgage discrimination exists even now. The strongest impact of segregation is seen on three avenues - education, health and crime (Schwartz, 2008). Living in a segregated set-up reduces the number of opportunities that the minority have in getting access to good education as the quality of education often depends on the geographic location because funding of many educational institutions happen through the income/revenue that are gained from property taxes (Simpson, 2007).

Similar impact is also seen in the health care sector as low income communities often see minimal facilities and overcrowding.

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preview essay on URBAN GEOGRAPHY
  • Pages: 10 (2500 words)
  • Document Type: Essay
  • Subject: Geography
  • Level: Undergraduate
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