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Poverty, Race, and US Metropolitan Social and Economic Structure

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Abstract:

This research evaluates the link between social and economic structural features of US urban areas and the poverty rates of black and white residents in 1990. Using a sample of 112 metropolitan areas (with poverty rates ranging from 9.4% to 45.4% for blacks, and 3.5% to 16.0% for whites) and multiple regression analysis, we find that metropolitan location in the Northeast lowers poverty rates of blacks and whites compared to metropolitan areas in other regions. Moreover, population growth, higher percent black, increased black high school graduation rates, the presence of immigrants, a high percentage of workers employed in manufacturing and relatively few in retailing, low black unemployment, and an older black population are related to lower black poverty rates. For whites, lower poverty rates are related to high racial residential segregation, increased white high school graduation rates, low white unemployment, a large black population, and a high percentage of workers employed in manufacturing and fewer employed in retail sales and professional services.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Sociology, State University of New York at Albany 2: Georgia State University

Publication date: 2000-09-01

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