Journal Article
Has exposure to poor neighborhoods changed in America?

While extreme concentrations of poor racial minorities, briefly 'rediscovered' as a social problem by media in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, declined significantly in the 1990s, no research has determined whether the trend reduced exposure to poor neighbourhoods over time or changed racial gaps in exposure. Yet most hypotheses about the social and economic risks of distressed neighbourhoods hinge on such exposure. Using a geocoded, national longitudinal survey matched to three censuses, it is found that: housing mobility continued to be the most important mode of exit from poor tracts for both Whites and Blacks; reductions for Blacks were mainly in exposure to extremely poor neighbourhoods, where neighbourhood change had a huge impact; Blacks remained far more likely than Whites to endure long, uninterrupted exposure; and, racial gaps in the odds of falling back into a poor neighbourhood after exiting one—a major driver of exposure duration that Black renters dominate—widened in the 1990s.

Title
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsBriggs Xde Souza, Keys BJ
JournalUrban Studies
Volume76
Issue2
Date Published10/2009
Abstract

While extreme concentrations of poor racial minorities, briefly 'rediscovered' as a social problem by media in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, declined significantly in the 1990s, no research has determined whether the trend reduced exposure to poor neighbourhoods over time or changed racial gaps in exposure. Yet most hypotheses about the social and economic risks of distressed neighbourhoods hinge on such exposure. Using a geocoded, national longitudinal survey matched to three censuses, it is found that: housing mobility continued to be the most important mode of exit from poor tracts for both Whites and Blacks; reductions for Blacks were mainly in exposure to extremely poor neighbourhoods, where neighbourhood change had a huge impact; Blacks remained far more likely than Whites to endure long, uninterrupted exposure; and, racial gaps in the odds of falling back into a poor neighbourhood after exiting one—a major driver of exposure duration that Black renters dominate—widened in the 1990s.