Place and Opportunity: Using Federal Fair Housing Data to Examine Opportunity across US Regions and Populations

Research Report

Place and Opportunity: Using Federal Fair Housing Data to Examine Opportunity across US Regions and Populations

Abstract

Growing evidence demonstrates that where you live affects your well-being and ability to thrive (Chetty et al. 2018; Turner and Gourevitch 2017). This brief highlights new connections between place and access to opportunity across regions and populations. We analyze data on neighborhood-level exposure to opportunity that the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) originally released in 2015 to help local communities reduce segregation and comply with the Fair Housing Act. We find that, on average, metropolitan regions are more opportunity rich than rural areas but have wider disparities in access to opportunity between different racial and ethnic groups. Metropolitan areas with higher levels of segregation also have wider racial and ethnic disparities in labor market engagement, high-performing schools, and toxin-free environments. Not only do these findings provide further insights into the relationship between place and opportunity, but they highlight the importance of examining opportunity through a multidimensional set of indices, rather than one composite opportunity measure.

Read the fact sheet summarizing the report findings here

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