Black Immigrant Residential Segregation: An Investigation of the Primacy of Race in Locational Attainment

Rebbeca Tesfai, Temple University

The prevailing opinion in the sociological literature is that black immigrants live in even more segregated neighborhoods than U.S.-born blacks. I re-examine this view, using a multivariate, locational attainment approach rather than the segregation index approach in order to avoid the risk of ecological inference. In using this approach, I control for a number of socioeconomic characteristics to determine the relative racial, educational, and economic segregation of foreign-born blacks in eight major black immigrant settlement areas. Contrary to previous work, I find that foreign-born blacks are less segregated from U.S.-born whites than U.S.-born blacks and live in neighborhoods where they are more likely to be exposed to those with at least a college degree or with an income to poverty ratio of three or more. These results provide evidence against both the place stratification theory and spatial assimilation. Instead, location plays an important role in the segregation of foreign-born blacks.

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Presented in Session 41: Residential Segregation