California is still highly segregated, new study finds

Residential segregation remains a pervasive problem in California and the nation as a whole and it is contributing to the systemic injustices experienced by communities of color.

That’s according to a study from UC Berkeley’s Othering and Belonging Institute, released this month. Although the US has grown more diverse, the researchers found that 81% of metropolitan regions were more segregated in 2019 than they were in 1990. This separation “has led to a disproportionate distribution of resources in segregated communities of color compared to segregated white communities,” said Stephen Menendian, the Institute’s Assistant Director and Director of Research. The researchers found a clear link between positive outcomes and how integrated a community is.

Menendian’s team created an interactive map showing residential segregation based on 2019 data. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana ranked as the 6th most segregated metropolitan area in the country behind New York - Northern New Jersey - Long Island (NY, NJ, PA); Chicago - Joliet - Naperville (IL, IN, WI); Milwaukee - Waukesha - West Allis (WI); Detroit - Warren - Livonia (MI); and Miami - Fort Lauderdale - Pompano Beach (FL).

Among the regions that have become less integrated since 1990 were Santa Cruz; Santa Rosa; Santa Barbara; San Jose; Riverside; Sacramento; Oxnard; Vallejo; San Diego; Modesto; Chico; San Luis Obispo; Bakersfield; and San Francisco.

Read the study here.


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