Neighborhood selections by young adults: Evidence from a panel of U.S. adolescents


Clark, William A. V. & Brazil, Noli (2019). Neighborhood selections by young adults: Evidence from a panel of U.S. adolescents. Journal of Urban Affairs. pp. 1-18


The number of neighborhoods with diverse mixtures of the major ethnic and racial groups is increasing. There is also work that suggests that young adults are more open to integration and that they may be making more integrative choices. In this context, we use data on neighborhood residential mobility from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health to compare changes in neighborhood percentage own race from adolescence to young adulthood across race and ethnicity, paying specific attention to how factors in adolescence (parental educational attainment) and young adulthood (income, educational attainment) influence these changes. The focus is on residential selections in the period of most active relocation behavior, the years of leaving home, setting up families and careers, and entering the housing market. We find much more dynamism in the distribution of neighborhood selections than is suggested in previous studies that focus on average outcomes. Specifically, we show that though there is continued sorting into neighborhoods that are reflections of race and ethnicity there is also considerable individual variation. Moving into high and low percentage own-race neighborhoods can be explained by own and parental educational attainment and percentage own race in the adolescent neighborhood.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Journal Title

Journal of Urban Affairs


Clark, William A. V.
Brazil, Noli

Year Published





February 11, 2019



Reference ID