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Changing Urban Populations: Regional Restructuring, Racial Polarization, and Poverty Concentration

Publication Abstract

Frey, William H., and Elaine L. Fielding. 1995. "Changing Urban Populations: Regional Restructuring, Racial Polarization, and Poverty Concentration." Cityscape: A Journal of Policy Development and Research, 1(2): 1-66.

The contexts for urban demographic change in the United States have led to sharper divisions in the growth prospects, diversity profiles, and economic structures across broad regions of the country as well as within metropolitan areas. The changing structure of the U.S. economy is increasingly concentrating poverty and unemployment among racial minorities in the inner cities and a growing number of suburban communities. Understanding the changing population profiles of urban America, with its increasing number of immigrants and growing diversity imposed upon a background of unfortunate racial and income polarization, is a necessary first step in meeting the challenge of diversity. The disparities that now exist across the Nation's urban landscape have been strongly influenced by three elements--urban and regional restructuring, immigration-related minority gains, and a suburban dominated society. These three trends are signature characteristics of contemporary urban America. They shape evolving patterns of minority and poverty concentrations in broad regions and metropolitan areas as well as in selected central cities.

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