American segregation, mapped at day and night

American segregation, mapped at day and night


This was Levittown, Pennsylvania, shortly
after World War II. In a suburb that explicitly promised a
white-only neighborhood. And it wasn’t some outlier. It was the prototypical suburb, built by the father of suburbia — Bill
Levitt — who created several suburbs around the US, all named Levittown. But one reason Levitt wanted a white-only
community was because the US government was subsidizing it — and that’s what they wanted. They said they didn’t want “racially inharmonious
groups” lowering property values. That’s why Levitt didn’t just sell cookie-cutter
houses. He sold a meticulously crafted, affordable,
utopian lifestyle. So as the courts integrated public spaces,
like schools, more and more white people fled to these suburbs. And these patterns are still the defining
characteristic of America’s racial geography. But we now spend most of our time at work. It gets a lot more complicated. “More than a million persons each year have
pulled up stakes in the city and turned commuter…” Shortly after the first Levittown broke ground
in 1947 in Long Island, New York, about 80 percent of men still commuted the hour to
Manhattan. And while neighborhoods were getting deeply
segregated, these workplaces were getting more diverse. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 banned employment
discrimination. More companies explicitly said they were “equal
opportunity employers.” And segregation within our workplaces declined. This meant the workplace was a crucial environment
for us to interact with people of other races. Except that’s not exactly how it turned out. A few months ago, researchers at Cornell and
Penn State shared a dataset with me — and when I mapped it, it kind of blew my mind. This is a map of where people work in modern-day
Chicago. The taller an area,
the more people there are. But now, let’s color in each neighborhood
by the percentage of white people. You can see the city centers are pretty diverse. But, now, here’s what happens when they go
home. What’s even more astounding is what happens
when we map people of color. Here’s where black people work in Chicago. Again, they’re concentrated in diverse city
centers. But when black workers go home, they go to
very segregated neighborhoods, clustered in the poorer areas. And we can see the same patterns in DC. Detroit. Philadelphia. Pretty much everywhere in the US. These maps shows just how stubborn residential
segregation is. But they also show what looks like a glimmer of
hope for integration: cities are remarkably diverse during the work day. This got researchers interested in looking
closer at what’s at work. Let’s look at how segregation has changed
in recent year. From 2000 to 2010, residential segregation
between black and white people got slightly better. For the most part, segregation just mostly plateaued for all racial groups. But when researchers looked at how segregation
changed during the day, when we’re at work, they found that segregation increased slightly
across all racial groups. When we zoom in some more to the company level, we can see a bit more of what’s actually happening. Researchers at Stanford and Harvard found,
within a company, segregation levels have gone down very little. In other words, we’re exposed to about as
much diversity now… as we were a generation ago. But there are a lot more people of color now
than there were in 1980. So what’s going on? Well, they aren’t being more represented at
these white-majority companies, which would look like this. Rather, they are getting
opportunities at companies that are mostly non-white, over here. So this means that, when we look at this from
a company level, segregation has actually gotten worse than a generation ago. Of course, some places are pretty diverse. So researchers looked at what kinds of places
actually have less segregation during the day. But they found that, if a place is diverse
during the daytime, it’s likely not because people of all races are working alongside
each other. Rather, it’s likely because most of the higher
status workers, like managers, are white. and the lower-status workers, like janitors,
are people of color. American policies engineered our segregated
homes. But work — where we spend most of our time? Many thought that could be a space where we
form meaningful relationships with people of other racial backgrounds. That hasn’t quite happened. And we can see it in the most personal parts
of our lives. In 2014, the Public Religion Research Institute
asked Americans to list the people with whom they “discussed important matters” in
the past six months. In other words, our friends. Most Hispanic people had friends of other
races. About one in three black people did, too. But 75 percent of white people only had
white friends. In short, we may be exposed to diverse spaces, but we still live very segregated lives. “The whole trouble with this integration business is that in the end it probably will end up with mixing, socially.”

100 Replies to “American segregation, mapped at day and night

  1. Correction: at 3:37 the video mistakenly labels a map "Charlotte." The map shown is actually of the Charleston metropolitan area.

  2. We have become comfortable with where our community is. Harder to move out & go to places where there is a problem welcoming diversity.
    I have been all over & given the choice, I would prefer my village over suburban Chicago where I reside at the time.

  3. We tend to self-segregate. I just have more in common with indians (and Hispanics for some reason. Love me some SA). I can't really get along with people in white neighborhoods. There's a difference between white people I work with and white people I live around. It's… Different. They're not racist, things are just a bit awkward. Eg. When we first moved in, the neighbors all came to introduce themselves. Maybe it's because I grew up in the city, but indian Americans don't really do that. Its a bit creepy. Sorry, guys, you know I love all of you.

  4. That was a good animation for showing where black people go home after working but I was kind of peeved by the use of the term poorer neighborhoods…especially specifically when you got to the map for the Washington DC area. As a resident of the DMV (DC, MD, VA) area, many of its black residents may work in DC or communities outside the city within the Beltway but many go home to Prince George County, MD which is one the most affluent black areas within America next to Atlanta. There may be poorer areas within Prince George’s county but Prince George’s County is anything but “Poor”

  5. im black and live on long island in elmont and i have cousins who live in suffolk. it was pretty fun to see where we stood on the map. im right on the edge of the cluster above queens on the side away from manhattan while that white gap in between me and the other cluster is probably franklyn sq and garden city. lol.

  6. The idea of segregation is inherently divisive. In the 1950's it was a fact; now whites continue to follow capitslism that favors increased income with professional and higher education achievement. The only true segregation now is cultural, with few high achievers in non-white groups and therefore hiring reflects it. Whites are habituated to sacrificing work/life balance to achieve higher incomes.

  7. Uhm, well its kinda hard for white people to have friends of other races when, for example, blacks comprise around 15% of US population.

  8. If we continue to underfund and not invest in poorer colored areas, it's going to stay they same. It makes sense that Workplace segregation is stagnating or getting worse since 1980. With a degree you could make a decent living. Now? Much harder. And when you don't have money, good jobs in your area… Well college becomes a much, much larger challenger

  9. Can please mention the library you used to make this plot and also if possible please please please provide the link to the dataset

  10. Maybe it will get better once the white population goes down. THat's the only way for them to have less power so we can get some diversity in this racist country.

  11. It's like that in Denver. There neighborhood area that have historically been Black and Hispanic neighborhoods. Our city is just in the past few years has started slowly developing housing to change that. But it's a struggle cause now you have wealth surrounded by poverty. If we truly want to diversify our communities we need to work on improving life for everyone.

  12. Vox, are you guys Geography major? I find your presentation great and looks like you apply geographic data in every videos you present.

  13. So? What's the problem? For eons people have always chosen to be around their own kind. That's whom they're most comfortable with. It always has been, and always will be, and no amount of pandering will change that! Statistics clearly show it. No matter what country, religious dominion, or political color, rural or urban. People choose to stick with their own kind. (Yes, even most liberals!) Blacks choose to be around Blacks. Whites around Whites. Hispanics around Hispanics. Asians around Asians, if given the choice, everytime. And there's nothing wrong with that!

  14. what will happen to be chigga like me? im asian bit have black colour i still dont know where i am belong to

  15. I think that you lie. I have worked at places were a manager was of color and a year later every worker was of color.

  16. Well, in the US a larger majority of people are of light skin. So it would make sense if a larger precentage of blacks have white friends than whites have black friends because numbers.

  17. what are you tring to say. I think it sounds like an attack on white people. Do you think you will gain your goals with guilt and insultes or you will only reinforce your own small groups ideas and predudices.

  18. Things start looking a lot more diverse when you look at where people are from rather than the color of their skin.

    I have friends from the USA, Canada, Australia, Germany, Spain, England, Greece… They're all "White Fellas" but they're also a culturally diverse group regardless of skin colour.

  19. I don't think it's always about whites and blacks not wanting to mix, sometimes you want to be around similar people

  20. I don't quite understand what this video was trying to achieve tbh.
    Idk what Americas obsession is with race.

    I think this is more of a social issue than a racist one.
    I feel Vox and other content creators don't quite understand the meaning of racism.

    Subconsciously I feel that people naturally gravitate towards other people of similar heritage or culture because you have something in common.
    For example the all white company and all black company you used in your video.

    Could it be that black people are more inclined to apply for a job in a company that is majority black because they know they'll fit in more because they would be able to relate to them more based on their culture?

    Idk I could be wrong, but I strongly feel there will always be a division for that reason.
    Not saying it's good or bad but maybe we should stop picking at a scab for the sake of it.

  21. Anybody white that lived in the early years when there was segregation remembers how safe the neighborhoods were , Also What care the people took of their property and houses ,kids werent into drugs , look at Detroit .You cant deny that the colored race has completely destroyed America. Guys like Martin luther King ,are to blame He had a dream alright ,and thats all it was was a dream that the colored race could behave normally if not kept under some kind of control.

  22. Honestly these videos are more disappointing than helpful, just because it fails to link its findings up to studies of systemic racism, which needs to be more widespread.

  23. In the US it's easy to figure out what race a manager is – just look at the workers in his dept. If they're all race X, the manager will turn out to be race X. Managers hire their own race as a rule. The only exception is, if the manager is white, they are forced to hire non-whites and they will hire a mix of workers. So: If the workers are X it's because their manager is X. If they're Y, their manager is Y. And if they're a mix of X, Y, Z, etc then the manager is white.

  24. Since there are more whites than others there is a higher chance that whites will only have white friends. That's just basic statistics..

  25. 6:05 honestly that makes a lot of sense because we like to live with our own people and we exposed ourselves to more people of our race. idk where you are with this

  26. My neighborhood is nolonger white. The first white owners bought their homes for $60k to $70k. Ten years later, some middle class Latinos and blacks bought a few houses that were worth around $200k. The rest of the whites fled their 'ghetto', selling their homes off for $200k-$400k to the 'poor and lazy' minorities.

  27. African Americans still complain about being in poverty but they have all the rights as us now in the US. Not my fault for their actions and financial crisis.

  28. Whites move it? White flight. Whites move in? Gentrification. The only way to win this game is not to play.

  29. So if I am company owner, I need to hire a 60% scoring non white kid over a 80% scoring white kid because of "diversity". I don't think private companies are going to hire less efficient people irrespective of race so that they can look hip and diverse.

  30. lol to anyone who thinks the world will hold hands and live happily ever after. Of coarse races would rather stay together in a community. Its been like that since the beginning of times.

    We are either kings or pawns, emperors or fools – Napoleon Bonaparte

  31. so basically just because a place has a lot of white people working there means they are racist and completely segregated

  32. @4:29 this becomes fiction… ya know why segregation is about the same? Because the number of colored people increased and… wait for it… you’ll never believe it… THE TOTAL population went up too.

  33. Other people have mentioned this, but I would love to see data from places like the UK.

    I live in Cornwall, and over here there is a very large white population. I know very few black people at all and I only have white friends.

    Compared to somewhere like London, which is possibly the most diverse city in the world, and I can imagine that would look very different.

  34. People segregate themselves based on similarities and differences. We may not think it, but people usually prefer to be with people like them in a community. It is due to the ancient pack mentality instilled deep within our brains.

  35. Where I live, there's about a 60/40 split between white people and hispanic people. I've only seen about 10 people of other races within the last year, probably. Then again, I don't really g o o u t s i d e at all so that's probably why.

  36. add to the equation asian/americans who on average are all too happy to uphold whiteness and white supremacist suburban segregation with their "honorary" white status (e.g., highest rates of outmarriage with whites, highest rates of higher education with whites)–despite or perhaps because of their "model minority" racial status

  37. Before I make my comment let me start by saying I live in the US but i was born in the Caribbean, i'm Hispanic and i was raised in black neighborhood okay..No racist at all.
    That being said. i am gonna ask one question..how do you explain to this people that they were wrong when black neighborhoods are full of crime, drugs, school dropouts, absented fathers, incarceration rates, fights, trash…? I am not saying segregation is right by any means, but when African Americans leaders and regular people are going to call out what's wrong in their communities? what about some self criticism?

  38. I always wonder how ethnic/cultural diversity is so much adored, but segregation so much detested. They vitally depend on each other. Put simply: Ethnic diversity is based on persistent ethnic differences. They persist only if they are transmitted to and adopted by most of the next generation. However, to achieve this, you need homogeneous social spaces where these identities are formed and fostered. Which then again implies less social contact with ethnic outsiders, at least in your free time. If you don't have that, multicultural society is not stable, but just a transitory state, much like the various European immigrant communities in the US have been mostly absorbed into an Anglophone White mainstream. If you look at pre-modern Old World examples of long-lasting multicultural societies (e.g. Muslim Andalusia, pre-1790 Transylvania), which are sometimes hailed as models of tolerance etc, they often relied on an interplay between limited contact (in the public sphere, esp. business) and strong segregation (in the private sphere, esp. marriage/family). Segregation is as much a mother of cultural diversity as contact/mixing is.

  39. Oh and of course people of color start at the bottom. Last time I checked whites started at the bottom too before getting to the top. That does not prove there is discrimination

  40. Very good documentery i am from Canada so it's less segration than the Usa and France for coloured people.

  41. Please use different colors for the graphics. It’s very confusing having everything in pink only.

    And no, I have nothing against pink ; )

  42. White people have the money to avoid being uncomfortable, so if people of other races make them uncomfortable, they will use their money to avoid them, and especially to keep their kids away from them, perpetuating the discomfort.

  43. "75% of white people have only white friends" … like, hispanic friends. Cause they're white. Also, there is 12% black in the US. Even without segregation, or economic segregation, … it is statistically normal to be harder to meet that 1 person out of 10.
    It is not a discovery. You go in China and ask them how many scandinavian friends they have … Get it ?

  44. Look im Colombian and ive being in the US so many times. Ive noted how black people tend to be even more racist than whites sometime. Ive even had to see how english speaking blacks segregate themselves from spanish speaking whites. Hispanics tend to be more open to any races because we are not a race we are a culture of mixed races with a language in common.
    I think the video is very tendentious towards showing the white people of usa as racist evils and I'm not shure on how that is beneficial…

  45. Of course more white people have only white friends than black people having only black friends, because there are almost 5 times more white people than black people. So even if race didn't change anything at all, it would be more likely to be friends with only white people.

  46. Forced segregation is bad, but on average, people want to be around other people like themselves. Forced diversity is just as bad as forced segregation.

  47. WHY is it "neccessary" to integrate neighborhoods. It should occur ORGANICALLY .

    Let white flight happen, let gentrification happen, etc. At the end of the day its a socioeconomic game.

    Most people feel comfortable with those they relate to. Its not a huge leap to say ppl will generally feel more comfortable around their own race.

    i'm black, live in a very diverse city in southern california. However, gentrification has taken place in some areas, i dont always see it as a negative but positive.

    There are just some communities and or cities, as a black man u can walk day or night, blend in and not get harrassed by the cops

  48. Racism is an economically motivated concept!! Those that have the economics or means of production remain in power! That was the basis of slavery, the ongoing genocide of indigenous peoples in global North and racist immigration policies. The social construction of race or difference justifies white economic dominance

  49. Looking at the map of Detroit at 3'16" I have to wonder where the data is from. I don't wonder about it's validity as it obviously suffers from a total lack thereof. The number of people working in the city shows to be extremely high, however, the reference of Detroit being a ghost town is no fallacy. It's not just how many people live in the Detroit area, there is a serious lack of commercial activity in the city. It has been referred to as the 'Doughnut City' due to this very fact. Almost all activity in the Metropolitan Detroit area takes place in the cities (suburbs) surrounding Detroit itself. Note, I'm not contesting the larger issue, it's just that such a glaring fault in the data makes me question the validity overall of what's being presented and can end up doing a disservice to the material being presented.

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