Racial Segregation Measures

Hello all,

I am looking for a way to map racial segregation on either the block group or census tract level and was hoping you might have some data source suggestions. I have seen census data used to compute dissimilarity or isolation indexes (for example, http://www.censusscope.org/us/s25/rank_dissimilarity_white_black.html), but was hoping to find something at a finer grain. 

Please let me know if you have any suggestions!

Thank you,


  • Hi Sharon--

    You should look at the work of Elizabith Roberto www.elizabethroberto.com. She has done some very interesting work using blocks and transportation and physical boundaries. She also has developed a divergence index, which allows one to see the contribution of segregation from each unit, whether blockgroup, tract or block, as well as by place.

    Andy Beveridge
  • Sharon,

    Two things. First, the Frey data are based on census tracts, even though their result are for places. Second, there is a recent article in Demography about how the somewhat noisier ACS sample affects dissimilarity measures. That will be exacerbated if you used block groups or blocks:

    Measuring Residential Segregation With the ACS: How the Margin of Error Affects the Dissimilarity Index