INDEX G (2018)

Piergiorgio Casotti & Emanuele Brutti

The Gini Index is a statistical measure of inequality, also used to measure residential segregation. The optimism associated with recent declines in racial segregation in U.S. metropolitan areas may be dampened by new evidence of racial and ethnic geographic balkanization at other levels of geography (places & suburbs). A new macro-segregation, where the locus of racial differentiation resides increasingly at higher scales of geography (e.g. between central cities, suburban areas and fringe areas) rather than in neighborhood-to- neighborhood differences. In other words ethnoracial segregation has declined at some levels of geography (neighborhood-to-neighborhood) while increasing at other spatial scales (city- to-suburb or suburb-to-suburb).(1) In St Louis, for instance, ZIP codes matter. North of Delmar blvd, 95% black, life expectancy is 67. At a walking distance, few hundreds yards south of Delmar blvd, 70% white, a person has a life expectancy of 82.(2)

(1) D.T. Lichter, D. Parisi, M. C. Taquino 2015. “Toward a New Macro-Segregation? Decomposing Segregation within and between Metropolitan Cities and Suburbs”. American Sociological Review 80(4) 843-873
(2) Washington University in St. Louis and Saint Louis University 2014. “For the sake of all”.