restricted access Ethnic Diversity in Houston, Texas: The Evolution of Residential Segregation in the Bayou City, 1990–2000

The increased racial and ethnic diversity in the United States has been shown to alter significantly the residential landscapes within urban areas. This research investigates the impacts that an increase in diversity has had on the levels of residential segregation among racial and/or ethnic groups in Houston, Texas from 1990 to 2000. Empirical analysis entailed the measurement of two dimensions of segregation evident among Non-Hispanic whites, African-Americans, Hispanics and Asians. Measures of residential exposure were decomposed in order to investigate the relative impacts of metropolitan-wide compositional change and intra-urban redistributive change on segregation among the four groups. During the 1990s, all non-white groups became increasingly segregated from whites and increasingly integrated with one another. Results suggest that both whites and Asians exhibited some degree of “ethnic (or racial) self-selectivity” that functioned to concentrate these groups residentially, although these forces were partially overwhelmed by other redistributive and compositional changes. The evidence further suggests that the degrees of segregation experienced among minorities were strongly impacted by the residential behavior of whites.