Header Image for Print

The goal of Cityscape is to bring high-quality original research on housing and community development issues to scholars, government officials, and practitioners. Cityscape is open to all relevant disciplines, including architecture, consumer research, demography, economics, engineering, ethnography, finance, geography, law, planning, political science, public policy, regional science, sociology, statistics, and urban studies.

Cityscape is published three times a year by the Office of Policy Development and Research (PD&R) of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

  • Urban Problems and Spatial Methods
  • Volume 17, Number 1
  • Managing Editor: Mark D. Shroder
  • Associate Editor: Michelle P. Matuga

Spatializing Segregation Measures: An Approach To Better Depict Social Relationships

Masayoshi Oka
University of Alcalá

David W.S. Wong
University of Hong Kong
George Mason University


Segregation involves more than one population group, and segregation measures quantify how different population groups are distributed across space. One of the key conceptual and methodological foundations of segregation studies is to account for the potential of spatial interaction among two or more population groups across areal units. This foundation implies the need for a spatial approach to portray the spatial (and thus social) interaction among neighbors. In general, simple percentages (for example, percent Black) are not a measure of segregation. Because local spatial segregation measures did not emerge until recently, the objectives of this article are threefold: (1) to explain a spatial approach for measuring the level of segregation at the neighborhood (or local) level, (2) to demonstrate the deficiencies of using a percentage of racial/ethnic group as a measure of segregation, and (3) to clarify the appropriateness of two commonly used indexes of dissimilarity and diversity. Data from St. Louis, Missouri, and Chicago, Illinois, are used to discuss these three points.

Previous Article   |   Next Article