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Research Shows Negative Impact of Segregation

Segregation is obviously damaging to those who are segregated, but research shows that it’s also harmful to the surrounding region.  According to a recent study by Harrison Campbell, Huiping Li and Steven Fernandez from the University of North Carolina in Charlotte, metropolitan areas with high rates of segregation have worse economies than places with less segregation.  In addition, researchers found that incomes grow and properties appreciate at a slower rate in segregated areas than in other more integrated areas.  These issues, which involve segregation by race, skills and/or income, are true for both urban and suburban regions.

Everyone needs to care about segregation. Metro economies rely on all types of labor, and workplaces featuring high-skilled labor also need workers to do low-skilled jobs.  The two complement each other. For example, it would be problematic if professors had to spend part of their day mopping floors or cleaning bathrooms. Areas suffering from segregation are often isolated, which makes it more difficult for lower-skilled workers to obtain and sustain jobs.  

It is also important to note that the damaging effects of segregation are not only related to economies; the best ideas and innovations come from places where unlike people interact. In addition, the overall region will spend far fewer dollars addressing poverty issues if lower-income people have better access to employment opportunities. This article outlines the reasons that segregation is harmful to everyone and the solutions to improve access to opportunities including housing efforts, job stimulation and transportation.  

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SOURCE: The Atlantic Cities