The Limits of the California Melting Pot

Contact: Vincent Reda, 518-437-4985

The 2000 census shows that California's increasing racial and ethnic diversity is a leader for the nation. However, analyses of the residential patterns of African Americans, Hispanics, and Asians in the state's eight metropolitan areas of over a million population reveal that they tend to live in very different neighborhoods.

The analyses of segregation patterns were released today by John Logan, director of the Lewis Mum ford Center at the University at Albany (New York). Details for metropolitan regions in all 50 states are being made available now through the Center's web page, (

Logan finds that African Americans, who are now the smallest minority group in seven of these eight metro areas, generally became somewhat less segregated from whites during the 1990s. Still, blacks are more highly segregated than either Hispanics or Asians in 6 out of 8 metro areas.

Trends for Hispanics and Asians, California's two fast-growing minority groups, are less positive. Hispanic segregation from non-Hispanic whites increased in all 8 metros. White-Asian segregation remained at the same level or increased moderately.

Los Angeles-Long Beach typifies these trends. Here, where black-white segregation remains higher than the national average, the segregation index dropped 6 points from its prior level. Though blacks are only 10% of the population, the average black resident lives in a neighborhood that is 34% black. The average Asian (now 13% of the metro total) lives in a 29% Asian neighborhood. And the average Hispanic (now outnumbering non-Hispanic whites with 45% of the population) lives in an area where 63% of neighbors are also Hispanic.

Logan observes that California is being described as the nation's new melting pot, but his findings demonstrate that blacks, Hispanics, and Asians have yet to achieve residential integration with the state's newly-minority non-Hispanic white population.

John Logan may be reached at 518-442-4656, or by email at

March 30, 2001


Return to University at Albany Home Page

Return to University News & Information Page