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Hispanics Found More Segregated In Housing Study

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WASHINGTON--Black residential segregation lessened somewhat over the past decade, but the segregation of Hispanics intensified during that period, an analysis of data from the 1990 census concludes.

Asians and Native Americans, however, are far more likely to live in integrated areas. About 48 percent of Asians and Pacific Islanders and 58 percent of American Indians--most of those living off reservations--reside in neighborhoods in which they are less than 10 percent of the population, the study said.

The analysis, released here last week by the National Center for Health Statistics, was commissioned as part of an effort to lay the groundwork for future research on minority health. The center hired the consulting firm Westat Inc. to conduct the block-by-block analysis of housing patterns throughout the country.

The analysis is the first to cover the entire United States, not just metropolitan areas or central cities, its authors said.

The study found that the percentage of blacks living in predominantly white areas--block groups that were less than 10 percent black--increased from 9.7 percent to 12 percent between 1980 and 1990.

The percentage of blacks living in areas that were more than 60 percent black, moreover, decreased from 57.9 percent to 51 percent during that period.

But, the study found, the proportion of Hispanics living in predominantly non-Hispanic areas decreased from 14.8 percent to 10.6 percent, while the percentage living in primarily Hispanic areas increased from 30 percent to almost 34 percent.

Although Native Americans were less segregated, about 24 percent lived in neighborhoods where they accounted for more than 60 percent of the population, the study said. But the researchers were unable to determine how much these figures were due to their presence on reservations.

The study also found that various minorities tend to cluster in the same blocks. For example, 18 percent of all blacks nationwide, 38 percent of all Asians and Pacific Islanders, and 17 percent of all Native Americans live in blocks in which Hispanics account for between 10 percent to 60 percent of the population.

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