Events and Meetings of Italian Statistical Society, Statistics and Demography: the Legacy of Corrado Gini

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Using Lorenz Curves and the Gini Index to Depict Inequality and Segregation for Multiple Groups
Glenn Firebaugh, Francesco Acciai

Last modified: 2015-09-05


We show how to extend Lorenz curves and the Gini index to depict inequality and segregation for more than two groups. To illustrate our methods, we use U.S. census data for 1980 and 2010 to investigate both change in racial neighborhood segregation (the uneven distribution of racial groups across neighborhoods) and change in racial neighborhood inequality (the uneven distribution of racial groups across rich and poor neighborhoods). We include all metropolitan areas in the United States, thus capturing 77 percent of the total U.S. population in 1980 and 84 percent in 2010.  To ensure that the trends are based on a consistent set of boundaries, we standardize the 1980 census tracts to 2010 boundaries. We exclude tracts where more than 25% of the residents live in group quarters (e.g. prisons), yielding a consistent set of 57,370 neighborhoods for each year. In this extended abstract we report results for racial neighborhood inequality and some exploratory results for racial neighborhood segregation. We will have all the results for racial neighborhood segregation ready to present at the conference.

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