Visualizing American Segregation in Time

Readers of this blog probably have a general notion that residential segregation in the United States is a result of deliberate policies (if that’s surprising to you, Ira Katznelson’s When Affirmative Action Was White is my favorite book on the topic).

You probably also know that employment is also segregated, along lines of both race and gender. And you may not have any real idea whether segregation is increasing or decreasing in either domain—which is understandable, because the answers are complicated. In brief, the separation of some occupations, like janitorial service, into their own establishments (think Aramark) has contributed to a worsening of workplace segregation in the United States.

Vox’s Alvin Chang’s short video illustrates the situation.

There’s also an interactive map, and a shout-out from one of the academic authors, John-Paul Ferguson, whose research informs Chang’s reporting, for clever adaptation of his article’s graphics:

Screen Shot 2019-02-19 at 5.51.01 PM


Illustration of an analog numeric typewriter, superimposed on a paper chart of printed numbers.

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