Racial Residential Segregation Measurement Project

U of M


The Measurement of Residential Segregation

Julius A. Jahn, Calvin F. Schmidt and Clarence Schrag, 1947. "The Measurement of Ecological Segregation." American Sociological Review 12: 293-303.

This was, I believe, the first paper describing quantitative measures of residential segregation.

J. A. Jahn, 1950. "The Measurement of Ecological Segregation: Derivation of an Index Based on the Criterion of Reproducibility," American Sociological Review 15, (February): 100-104.

Dennis O. Cowgill and M. S. Cowgill, 1951. "An Index of Segregation Based on Block Statistics," American Sociological Review 16, (December): 825-831.

Beginning with the enumeration of 1940, the Census Bureau published data showing the racial composition of city blocks. An interest developed in measuring racial residential segregation but, until the Duncan's published their 1955 paper, there was no consensus about the appropriate index, one that had to be computed by hand. This paper by the Cowgills is among the first in a sociological journal to propose a specific measure of segregation.

Wendell Bell, 1954. "A Probability Model for the Measurement of Ecological Segregation." Social Forces 32: 357-364.

Otis Dudley and Beverly Duncan, 1955. "A Methodological Analysis of Segregation Indexes. American Sociological Review 20, (April): 210-217.

This is the most important single methodological paper about the measurement of residential segregation. The Duncans reviewed the properties of a variety of proposed indexes, criticized them and demonstrated the utility and interpretability of the index of dissimilarity.

Otis Dudley Duncan, 1957. "The Measurement of Population Distribution. Population Studies 11: 27-45.

This paper present Dudley Duncan's additional findings about the measurement of segregation and discusses measures of concentration and measures of population potential.

Raymond E. Zelder, 1970. "Racial Segregation in Urban Housing Markets." Journal of Regional Science 10: 93-105.

Henri Theil and Anthony J. Finizza, 1970. "A Note on the Measurement of Racial Integration of Schools by Means of Informational Concepts." Journal of Mathematical Sociology 1: 187-194.

In this, paper Theil and Finizza propose and demonstrate an entropy or information theory measure of segregation. While this measure has many desirable properties and lends itself to a disaggregation, it is a complicated one that is not easy to understand or interpret so it has seldom been used in the analysis of racial residential segregation.

Barbara Zoloth, 1976. "Alternative Measures of School Segregation," Land Economics 52: 278-298.

This paper presents an excellent and informative analysis of the properties of various measures of geographic segregation including the entropy measure proposed by Theil. It also presents a very clear proof that the value of an index of dissimilarity is statistically independent of the size of the two groups used in its computation.

Thomas L. Van Valey and Wade Clark Roof, 1976. "Measuring Residential Segregation in American Cities: Problems of Intercity Comparison." Urban Affairs Quarterly 11(4), (June): 453-468.

This paper discusses a variety of methodological issues concerning the measurement of segregation and the index of dissimilarity.

Charles F. Cortese, R. Frank Falk and Jack K. Cohen, 1976. "Further Considerations on the Methodological Analysis of Segregation Indexes." American Sociological Review 41, (August): 630-637.

These authors raise questions about the widespread use of the index of dissimilarity to measure racial residential segregation.

Karl E. and Alma F. Taeuber, 1976. "A Practioner's Perspective on the Index of Dissimilarity." American Sociological Review 41: 884-889.

This is the response of the Taeubers to the critical remarks about the index of dissimilarity offered by Charles Cortese, Frank Falk and
Jack Cohen.

John F. Jakubs, 1976. "Residential Segregation: The Taeuber Index Reconsidered." Journal of Regional Science 17(2): 281-303.

This is one of several papers written in the late 1970s pointing out the shortcomings or limitations of the index of dissimilarity.

Christopher Winship, 1977. "A Revaluation of Indexes of Residential Segregation." Social Forces 55: 1058-1066.

Raymond E. Zelder, 1976. "On the Measurement of Residential Segregation: A Reply." Journal of Regional Science Journal of Regional Science 17: 299-303.

Reynolds Farley, 1976. "Residential Segregation in Urbanized Areas of the United States in 1970: An analysis of Social Class and Racial Differences." Demography 14: 497-529.

This is one of the few papers to actually make use of an analysis of variance or correlation ratio measure of segregation.

Christopher Winship, 1978. "The Desirability of Using the Index of Dissimilarity of Any Adjustment of It." Social Forces 57: 717-720.

Charles F. Cortese, R. Frank Falk and Jack C. Cohen, 1978. "Understanding the Index of Dissimilarity: Reply to Massey." American Sociological Review 43: 825-831.

G. E. O'Connell, 1976. "Zelder's Critique of the Index of Dissimilarity: A Misunderstanding of a Basic Assumption." Journal of Regional Science 17: 285-289.

R. Frank Falk, Charles F. Cortese and Jack Cohen, 1976. "Utilizing Standardized Indices of Residential Segregation: Comment on Winship." Social Forces 55: 1058-1066.

B. Kestenbaum, 1976, "Notes on the Index of Dissimilarity," Social Forces 59: 275-280.

Stanley Lieberson, 1976. "An Asymmetrical Approach to Segregation." In Ceri Peach, Vaughn Robinson and Susan Smith and (editors), Ethnic Segregation in Cities. Athens, Ga.: University of Georgia Press.

This is an important paper. Stanley Lieberson proposed here the use of asymmetrical measures of the isolation of one racial group or the potential interaction one racial group had with another taking their geographic distributions into account. These P* or interaction or exposure or isolation measures are now fairly widely used in segregation research.

Douglas S. Massey, 1978. "On the Measurement of Segregation as a Random Variable." American Sociological Review 43: 587-590.

John F. Jakubs, 1979. "A Consistent Conceptualization Definition of the Index of Dissimilarity." Geographical Analysis 11: 315-321.

Douglas S. Massey, 1981. "Social Class and Ethnic Segregation: A Reconsideration of Methods and Conclusions." American Sociological Review 46: 641-650.

John F. Jakubs, 1981. "A Distance-Based Segregation Index." Journal of Socio-Economic Planning Sciences 15: 129-136.

James M. Sakoda, 1981. "A Generalized Index of Dissimilarity." Demography 18: 245-250.

Barrie S. Morgan, 1981. "The Properties of a Distance Based Measure of Racial Segregation." Journal of Socio-Economic Planning Sciences 16: 167-171.

Barrie S. Morgan, 1981. "A Distance-Decay Interaction Index to Measure Residential Segregation." Demography 18: 251-255.

George C. Galster, 1981. On the Measurement of Metropolitan Decentralization of Blacks and Whites." Urban Studies 21: 465-470.

Michael J. White, 1983. "The Measurement of Spatial Segregation." American Journal of Sociology 88(5): 1008-1018.

In this paper, Michael White reviews criticisms of the index of dissimilarity and then presents several measures of the spatial distribution of groups in the urban environment.

Barrie. S. Morgan, 1983. "An Alternative Approach to the Development of a Distance Based Measure of Racial Segregation." American Journal of Sociology 88: 1237-1249.

Robert Johnson and Reynolds Farley, 1985. "On the Statistical Significance of the Index of Dissimilarity." Proceedings of the Social Statistics Section, American Statistical Association, 1985 Annual Meetings.

This is the only paper that I know about that presents a sampling distribution for indexes of dissimilarity. This paper shows that the value of the index of dissimilarity is independent of the relative size of the two groups used in its computation but the expected value of the index under conditions of random assignment is not zero if the size of either population is small relative to the number of geographic units used in the computation.

David R. James and Karl E. Taeuber, 1985. "Measures of Segregation." In Nancy Tuma (Editor), Sociological Methodology. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, Pp. 1-32.

Michael J. White, 1986. "Segregation and Diversity Measures in Population Distribution." Population Index 52(2): 198-221.

This is an excellent review and evaluation of a variety of measures of segregation including the index of dissimilarity and measures of spatial segregation that take distance into account.

Linda Brewster Stearns and John Logan, 1986. "Measuring Trends in Segregation: Three Dimensions, Three Measures." Urban Affairs Quarterly 22(1), (September): 124-150.

In this paper, the authors link the index of dissimilarity, the interaction probability measures popularized by Lieberson and the analysis of variance or correlation ratio measure of segregation.

Alma F. and Karl E. Taeuber, 1986. "Measure of Racial Exposure: Some Problems." Center for Demography and Ecology, University of Wisconsin at Madison, CDE Working Paper 88-1.

Douglas S. Massey and Nancy A. Denton, 1986. "The Dimensions of Residential Segregation." Social Forces 67(2), (December): 281-351.

This is an innovative and important paper. The authors propose that there are at least five dimensions to racial residential segregation in US cities and that different measures of segregation describe these different although related dimensions.

Douglas S. Massey and Nancy A. Denton, 1986. "Hypersegregation in U. S. Metropolitan Areas: Black and Hispanic Segregation Along Five Dimensions." Demography 26(3), (August): 373-391.

This paper demonstrates the usefulness of thinking about and measuring five dimensions of racial residential segregation.

George S. Tracy and Arnold M. Saxton, 1986. "The Lorenz Curve and the Principle of Composition Invariance in Measures of Segregation: A Reply to James and Taeuber." Baton Rogue, Louisiana: Louisiana State University, Department of Experimental Statistics (February 10).

This is a criticism of the index of dissimilarity and other measures of segregation linked to the Lorenz curve.