Next year will mark the 50-year anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1968, also known as the Fair Housing Act. The landmark bill prohibited by law long-standing practices of housing segregation based on race by landlords and local governments. Despite the law, housing discrimination never fully disappeared, and the effects of decades of discrimination are evident in U.S. cities — many of which still highly segregated.
The forced segregation of black Americans in neighborhoods with suboptimal schooling, poor public transportation, and fewer job opportunities has led to worse social and economic outcomes for residents in those neighborhoods.
> Black ppl. in black neighborhoods: 50.1%
> Black population: 16.7%
> Black poverty rate: 29.0%
> White poverty rate: 7.2%
Attracting many immigrants into America in the 19th and 20th century, the Chicago metro area has long had one of the most diverse populations of any U.S. city. In recent history, however, exclusionary zoning, white flight, and racial prejudice have intensified segregation in the city and worsened economic outcomes for minorities. Today, more than 50% of all African Americans in Chicago live in neighborhoods in which at least 4 in 5 residents are also black, the second largest share in the nation.
While 7.2% of white residents in Chicago live in poverty, 29.0% of black residents do. The black poverty rate is more than four times the white rate and is the second largest poverty disparity between blacks and whites of any metro area.
To identify America’s 16 most segregated cities, 24/7 Wall St. calculated the percentage of metropolitan area black residents who live in predominantly black census tracts. While certain racially homogeneous neighborhoods exist in every large metropolitan area, some cities are far more starkly divided. In several U.S. metropolitan areas, more than one-fourth of the African American population lives in neighborhoods that are at least 80% black. In two metro areas, more than half of black residents live in a predominately African American neighborhoods.