The Racial Residential Segregation of Black Single Adults Living Alone

City Community. 2010 Sep;9(3):299-319. doi: 10.1111/j.1540-6040.2010.01338.x.


While many studies have examined the intersection of race and class with residential segregation and residential preferences, very little is known about the role played by household composition in shaping residential patterns. This paper focuses on the residential patterns of a particular kind of household: those consisting of persons single and living alone (SALA). We compare the residential segregation of black SALA households-an important subset of non-family households and a rapidly growing segment of the population-from white SALA households and both white and black married-couple households. We examine how group and metropolitan characteristics influence segregation levels for these household types. Using data from the 2000 census, we find that black SALA households are less segregated from white SALA households than from white married-couple households. Multivariate analyses show that smaller income differences across SALA households account for these segregation patterns, indicating the importance of economic resources in influencing residential patterns. Nevertheless, race continues to play an important role, as black SALA household segregation from both kinds of white households is high in absolute terms and relative to their segregation from black married-couple households.