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Report Number CENSR-3
John Iceland and Daniel H. Weinberg with Erika Steinmetz

Introduction

Data recently released from Census 2000 provide an opportunity to examine the extent of changes in racial and ethnic resi- dential segregation in the last 2 decades of the 20th century. Segregation can result from, among other factors, voluntary choices people make about where they want to live or from the invol- untary restriction of choices, such as through discrimination in the housing market, or from a lack of information about residential opportunities. This study does not attempt to identify the causes of racial and ethnic residential segre- gation (or simply “segregation”), nor do we argue that segregation is a more serious problem in one area than another. This report sim- ply describes the extent of, and changes in, segregation over the 1980 to 2000 period. Because seg- regation is much more of an issue in urban environments, we focused on segregation patterns in metro- politan areas across the United States.

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