Ethnicity and Racial Change

  • Gregory S. Lipton University of California, Los Angeles
  • David Varady University of Cincinnati
Keywords: Ethnic Integration, Neighborhood Succession, Group Mobility


Speculation has been made regarding the role of ethnic groups in resisting integration and the movement of minority groups into previously white neighborhoods. This article examines the influence of Italian, Polish, Russian (Jewish), and Irish ethnic groups on the succession of minorities into white neighborhoods. Census tract data for Philadelphia and Baltimore are examined for the 1970 to 1980 period. This analysis found Jewish neighborhoods were the least resistant to succession while Polish neighborhoods were most resistant. The likelihood that this pattern will continue is questioned. It is postulated that upper mobile Jewish households have settled into high-status neighborhoods and are not as likely to have high mobility rates in the future. The Polish work force was found to be employed in industrial, high-skilled jobs that are likely to move out of the city and thus increase the mobility of this ethnic group. The resulting increase in mobility should reduce the resistance of Polish neighborhoods to succession.


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