Blacks seeking integrated places to live are most likely to find them in the South and West. There, cities are burgeoning--and there's no rim of segregated suburbs for whites to flee to.
According to researchers at the University of Michigan, integration is generally advancing everywhere. But cities in the Northeast and Midwest remain more segregated than those in the South.
As of 1990, the 15 most segregated metropolitan areas included 11 Midwestern or Northeastern industrial centers. Detroit, Chicago, and Cleveland were nearly 90 percent segregated by living area, while highly integrated cities were found in Virginia, Texas, Arizona, and Oklahoma.
Reynolds Farley, Ph.D., and William H. Frey, Ph.D., of the university's Population Studies Center, see many intricate factors accounting for the surprising results:
o Residential integration occurs more easily in smaller and mid-sized metropolitan areas--more typical of cities in the South.
o Cities and towns with military bases are less segregated due to frequent population changes.
o University towns, such as Gainesville, Florida, and Tuscaloosa, Alabama, are generally more integrated, as education begets racial tolerance.