Community & Color: Distribution of People from Different “Races”

Groups of people are distributed unevenly across the available landscape. Some geographic area may be concentrated with people of the same color than other parts. This scenario is attributed to residential segregation in which there is lack of intermixing of people of different “races” in the same neighborhood. According to Williams and Collins (2001), racial residential segregation could affect various areas in people’s lives including health. Now, let us know what the causes of residential segregation are:


This is considered to be the most direct reason for residential segregation. Affinity instructs some families to reside with their relatives or with people who live the same way as them. With this, they can support their similar lifestyles, including amenities and businesses.

Market Forces

Different “racial” groups tend to occupy different stages on the economic ladder within the society. Market forces may produce variations on the economic ability of people to afford to live in particular locations. As the economic status of different group shifts, the racial composition of a neighborhood may shift.

White Flight

According to Pulido (2000), white flight is a specific manifestation of market forces. In some cases, white residents do not like to live next to a family or community of another color. For them, a racially diverse neighborhood is more dangerous.


This happens when people of high-class, mostly white occupies the people of the poor. These newcomers fail to form a bond with the existing community. The scenario will make the land more attractive, thus generating higher demand. The original inhabitants will no longer to afford to live in their place.

Public Service Provision

Some areas of color may get less water and sewer system. The public service programs may be passed to more progressive neighborhoods. The poor community may receive less effective or more abusive police protection. This is directly attributed to racial prejudice.


This is a norm among banks and real estate agents in which they give priority to white people to live in a particular community. Redlining was declared illegal in the US in 1968, however, there is still evident cases in the present.


Violence, especially those committed by gangs plays a role in racial residential segregation. On the other hand, gangs are results of residential segregation and limitation of opportunities for poor urban people of color.

Black-Self Segregation

This happens when black households prefer to live in majority-black neighborhoods. Some black people wanted exclusivity over the type of goods and services being services in their neighborhood.

White Collective Action

Another potential cause of segregation is that when white people formally organize efforts to exclude black people from living in white areas. This can take in form of refusing to rent or sell to black households. This has been practiced even in the early 20th century in which property owner enter legally enforceable contracts to restrict black people in their area.

White Individual Action

Apart from the white collective action, some white individuals already prefer not to choose or they tend to avoid communities with black people. A substantial study proved that white families leave neighborhoods with a high or rising black population share.