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Demography. 2010 Nov;47(4):845-68. doi: 10.1007/BF03214588.

The spatial dynamics of stratification: metropolitan context, population redistribution, and black and Hispanic homeownership.

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Population Studies Center, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA.


Racial and ethnic inequality in homeownership remains stubbornly wide, even net of differences across groups in household-level sociodemographic characteristics. This article investigates the role of contextual forces in structuring disparate access to homeownership among minorities. Specifically, I combine household- and metropolitan-level census data to assess the impact of metropolitan housing stock, minority composition, and residential segregation on black and Hispanic housing tenure. The measure of minority composition combines both the size and rate of growth of the coethnic population to assess the impact on homeownership inequality of recent trends in population redistribution, particularly the increase in black migration to the South and dramatic dispersal of Hispanics outside traditional areas of settlement. Results indicate remarkable similarity between blacks and Hispanics with respect to the spatial and contextual influences on homeownership. For both groups, homeownership is higher and inequality with whites is smaller in metropolitan areas with an established coethnic base and in areas in which their group is less residentially segregated. Implications of recent trends in population redistribution for the future of minority homeownership are discussed.

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