Neighborhoods are critical contexts for children’s well-being, but differences in neighborhood inequality among children and adults are understudied. I document racial segregation between neighborhoods among school-age children and adults in 2000 and 2010 and find that though the racial composition of children’s and adults’ neighborhoods is similar, exposure to own-age neighbors varies. Compared with adults’ exposure to other adults, children are exposed to fewer white and more minority, particularly Hispanic, children. This is due in part to compositional differences, but children are also more unevenly sorted across neighborhoods by race than adults. One explanation for higher segregation among children is that parents consider school options when making residential choices. Consistent with this hypothesis, I find that school district boundaries account for a larger proportion of neighborhood segregation among children than among adults. Future research on spatial inequality must consider the multiple contexts differentially contributing to inequality among children and adults.
Racial Residential Segregation of School-Age Children and Adults: The Role of Schooling as a Segregating Force
RSF: The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences