Despite substantial progress since passage of the Fair Housing Act four decades ago, neighborhoods remain highly segregated by race and ethnicity. This paper summarizes existing research evidence on both the costs of segregation and the potential benefits of neighborhood diversity. It uses decennial census data to show that a growing share of US neighborhoods are racially and ethnically diverse, but that low-income African Americans in particular remain highly concentrated in predominantly minority neighborhoods. Because the dynamics that sustain segregation today are complex, strategies for overcoming them must address not only discrimination, but information gaps, affordability constraints, prejudice, and fear.
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