By Daniel Hutti, CBN Graduate Research Assistant

The  recent US Supreme Court ruling on the use of disparate impact claims has attracted attention to the persistence of racial segregation in cities throughout the country. Shortly following this ruling, the Obama Administration and HUD announced new rules requiring cities to actively search for patterns of racial segregation.

In an overview of HUD’s new rules, the Washington Post shared a series of maps showing the “persistence of segregation in Chicago” in each decade from 1960 to 2010. To read this overview and view the Washington Post’s maps, click here. Their maps identify communities in which the population is less than 1% black and more than 50% black – essentially all-white neighborhoods and majority black neighborhoods. Over the 50 year time period,  all-white communities have almost entirely disappeared. Meanwhile, majority black communities have largely remained in the same geographic areas.

Chicago is not alone in this trend. When recreating these maps for St. Louis, the story is essentially the same. The maps below show that no neighborhood anymore is all-white. In 1970, there were 45 census tracts with a black population less than 1%. Today, there are zero. The south side of St. Louis appears to be more integrated than ever. On the other hand, majority black neighborhoods have spread. In 1970, there were 34 majority black census tracts, and today that number has increased to 54. The north side of St. Louis is more segregated, in some sense, than ever.


Date Source:  US Decennial Census 1970-2010