Updated: Oct 28
Hypersegregation is a complex and multidimensional phenomenon that occurs when a race/ethnic group is highly segregated in multiple ways. It is mainly experienced by African Americans in large US metropolitan areas, where they face high levels of social isolation, poverty, disadvantage, and racial inequality. Source
Hypersegregation emerged in the early and mid-20th century, when African Americans moved to the inner-city for industrial jobs but were left behind when industry and white residents moved to the suburbs. Despite the legal prohibition of discrimination in housing, hypersegregation persists in the US cityscape. Source
Residential segregation has traditionally been measured by using the index of dissimilarity and the P* exposure index. These indices, however, measure only two of five potential dimensions of segregation and understate the degree of black segregation in US society. Compared with Hispanics, not only are blacks more segregated on any single dimension of residential segregation, they are also likely to be segregated on all five dimensions simultaneously, which never occurs for Hispanics.
Moreover, in a significant subset of large urban areas, blacks experience extreme segregation on all dimensions, a pattern we call hypersegregation 1. According to a study by the University of California Berkeley’s Othering & Belonging Institute, some of the nation’s largest metropolitan regions have become increasingly segregated in the last 30 years, underscoring racial inequalities that have led to poorer life outcomes in Black and brown neighborhoods. Source
Data from the 2000 census shows that 29 metropolitan areas displayed black-white hypersegregation; in 2000. Two areas—Los Angeles and New York City—displayed Hispanic-white hypersegregation. No metropolitan area displayed hypersegregation for Asians or for Native Americans. Source
“The places that are hyper segregated today are the nation’s large urban black ghettos — New York, Chicago, Cleveland, Milwaukee, St. Louis and Philadelphia,” Massey said. “Although we’ve clearly made progress, the problems in many ways are becoming more intractable because there are now generations of black families in these places that have lived under conditions of hypersegregation and a high concentration of poverty.”