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Structure and Segregation: The Importance of Age Structure in Households, Neighborhoods and the Population for Residential Patterns in the United States, 1940 – 2015


This dissertation examines the ways that age shapes residential patterns in the United States. Sociologists have learned much about residential segregation since the founding of the discipline. However, few directly consider age as an element of segregation itself or as an important factor shaping racial segregation. I address these gaps by studying age as a dimension of residential segregation and by focusing on how the age structure in households, neighborhoods and the population is associated with segregation by age and by race. I use US Census data to study segregation in neighborhoods and metropolitan areas from 1940 to 2015. In the three chapters I explore segregation by age, longitudinal aging patterns in census tracts and the connections between age structure, neighborhood aging patterns and racial segregation. I find that age indeed structures residential patterns in the United States and is due greater attention in the sociological segregation literature and in public debates about generational change.

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