America's 10 Most Segregated Cities

04/07/2011 11:53 am ET | Updated Jun 07, 2011
  • Harry Bradford Associate Editor, HuffPost Business and HuffPost Small Business

In three years time, it will have been exactly six decades since the Supreme Court ruled against school segregation in Brown v. Board of Education, putting an end to America's dark legacy of so-called "separate but equal" facilities.

But to many, what should be cause for celebration will instead bring home a grim reality: after many years, the racial divide remains.

Steps have been taken to integrate America's communities over the last 40 years, including the passage of a wave of fair housing laws that have helped protect against discrimination. Progress, however, has largely stagnated in the last decade, according to a new report new report entitled "The Persistence of Segregation in the Metropolis" by Brown University professor John Logan and Florida State University professor Brian Stults.

Using 2010 Census data, Logan and Stults studied the racial make-up of America's neighborhoods, finding the results to be uneven in many large cities. While integration improved markedly in some areas like Kansas City, which saw a 7.4 percent decrease in residential segregation over the last decade, New York declined only 1.7 percent. In Miami, segregation actually got worse.

"This is a surprising result," Professor Logan told USA Today in December, before the report's publication. "At worst, it was expected that there would be continued slow progress."

Logan and Stults used a measurement called the Index of Dissimilarity to quantify segregation. Based on a scale of 1-100 -- from perfect integration to complete separation -- the index compares neighborhoods by race. Those cities with the highest levels of segregation, Logan and Stults found, hover around a score of 80, meaning 80 percent of an individual race would have to move so that each neighborhood reflects the racial composition of the city as a whole. (Currently the nationwide Index of Dissimilarity between blacks and whites is 62.7 percent.)

Below are the ten major metropolitan areas with the highest Index of Dissimilarity between black and white America, according to the report.

America's Most Segregated Cities