The newest figures from the Census Bureau show that black residential segregation has decreased since 2000 to the lowest levels in the past one hundred years. The average white person lives in a neighborhood that is 79 percent white, down from 81 percent in 2000; the average black person lives in a neighborhood that is 46 percent black, down from 49 percent. Hispanic segregation has increased slightly over the same period. Segregation still persists in many areas and actually increased in 25 of the 100 largest metropolitan areas in the United States.
While the overall decrease is good news in the housing context, it raises some disconcerting questions in the realm of public school integration. A report from University of California at Los Angeles’ Civil Rights Project shows that, during the same period where residential segregation declined, segregation in public schools has accelerated.