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WASHINGTON (AP) — America's neighborhoods became more integrated last year than during any time in at least a century, says a broad array of census data released Tuesday on the impact of race and economics.
Segregation among blacks and whites fell in roughly three-fourths of the nation's 100 largest metropolitan areas as the two racial groups spread more evenly between inner cities and suburbs. Still, ethnic segregation in many parts of the U.S. persisted, particularly for Hispanics.
"It's taken a civil rights movement and several generations to yield noticeable segregation declines for blacks," said William H. Frey, a demographer at the Brookings Institution who reviewed the census data. "But the still-high levels of black segregation in some areas, coupled with uneven clustering patterns for Hispanics, suggest that the idea of a postracial America has a way to go."
Income also varied widely by geography. Poverty ranged from 4 percent to more than 40 percent with many of the poor living on American Indian reservations in the High Plains. Amid swirling congressional debate over taxing the wealthy, just three U.S. counties reported a median household income of over $100,000 — all in Virginia.
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