White families with children are drawn to less diverse neighborhoods, schools

White families with children are drawn to less diverse neighborhoods, schools, Emily Gersema, USC News, March 22nd, 2017, available here

“Neighborhood racial segregation has been in decline since the 1970s, but my findings show it declined more slowly among families with kids,” said USC Assistant Professor Ann Owens, who analyzed 2010 and 2000 U.S. Census data to examine racial segregation trends in 100 major metropolitan areas.

“This means that children are surrounded by greater racial homogeneity in their neighborhoods than adults,” added Owens, a sociologist at the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences. “A lack of diversity could have a significant effect on the development of their racial attitudes and future education and employment.”

In neighborhoods, housing and urban policies have been key for curbing segregation, she said. The Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Act of 2015, for example, reiterated the aims of the Fair Housing Act of 1968, requiring municipalities that receive federal housing funds to conduct fair housing assessments.

“The progress made in integrating neighborhoods could be thwarted by policies or policymakers’ efforts to dismantle these efforts,” she said. “Because neighborhood racial segregation remains higher among children than adults, children may face greater consequences of any rollbacks of support for fair housing policies.”

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