OAKLAND, Calif. - A new study of the nine-county Bay Area region found strong correlations between segregation and life outcomes.
Study author, Arthur Gailes, fair housing coordinator with the Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society joined us on KTVU’s The Four on Thursday to discuss his key findings.
He found that people in highly-segregated black and Latin(o/a/x) communities ultimately have poorer life outcomes than people in white or integrated neighborhoods.
Gailes said with the granular data from over the past few years, that they were able to pinpoint the exact levels of income, home values, test scores, and high-school graduation rates that exist in these communities.
“We’re not just able to say, ‘Oh people in segregated neighborhoods are at a disadvantage,’ but quantify exactly what that means.
For example, in this study of the Bay Area, people living in heavily black or Latino segregated neighborhoods are in the labor force at about the same rate as people in integrated and white neighborhoods, but they only make about 40% of the income of the people in those neighborhoods.
Gailes’ study used a measure of segregation developed by sociologist Elizabeth Roberto called divergence.
“It basically compares at the neighborhood level, each race’s proportion compared to its proportion in the county or regional level,” Gailes said.
A continuation of the five-part-series study will propose policy solutions that will help alleviate the troubles in segregated communities and segregation itself. Those solutions may include; building more housing, establishing rent control to help people live in more integrated communities.
Gailes’ work has also looked at the history of segregation in the Bay Area— redlining zoning requirements that existed before the fair housing law. They’ve also produced interactive web maps that allow you to look at segregation on the neighborhood level within the Bay Area.
The institute has also produced interactive web maps that allow you to look at segregation on the neighborhood level within the Bay Area.
“The biggest takeaway is that even if nobody has any racial animosity, people who are seeking to say, preserve the character of their neighborhoods can really create situations in which whole groups of people are isolated from opportunity to advance forward in life,” Gailes said.
He noted this can perpetuate systems for decades.