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Iowa neighborhoods and churchesTo explain Iowa’s swing state status, Lasley notes that Iowa has had a reputation as a conservative state with values that focus on farm, faith, and family. But in Iowa, those community values also tend to have what Lasley called a “progressive edge”: Iowa has never had segregated schools and in 1851 became the second state to legalize interracial marriage. In 2009, Iowa became the third state to legalize same-sex marriage. “It’s hard to hate someone when you have to live next to them and you depend on them for help and you sit elbow to elbow with them in the pew every Sunday morning,” Birkby says. “This is what has always made Iowa so great. We are great neighbors, because we have to be. Or we were anyway.”
Impact of housing vouchersAfter the Los Angeles riots in 1992 the federal government tried to copy this scheme in other cities. Until recently, the results were considered disappointing. Those who moved out of public housing in crime-ridden places showed lower rates of diabetes than those who remained, and mothers who moved showed an increase in happiness similar to the effects of Prozac, an antidepressant. However, children did no better after moving and their mothers did not get better jobs. In a paper published this month, however, Raj Chetty and colleagues at Harvard re-examined the numbers and found that the children who moved earned considerably more in their 20s. This was true only of children who moved before their 13th birthday: older children saw no benefit later on. More recently, Baltimore lost a public-housing case similar to the one in Chicago and, in 2005, provided vouchers for 7,000 families to move to other parts of Maryland. They are still there, and three-quarters of their children are attending much better schools, says Stefanie Deluca of Johns Hopkins. Yet since giving a golden ticket to every poor black family would cost about $30 billion a year, those stuck in highly segregated places will have to save in order to get out.
Housing segregation in USBaltimore was the first city to formalise residential segregation by race, but others soon followed. In 1942, with black GIs preparing to go to war, 84% of white Americans told pollsters that “there should be separate sections in towns for Negroes.” De jure racial segregation is now a thing of the past, and de facto segregation has declined since 1970. But it has not done so evenly: on a scale where 0 means blacks are evenly distributed and 100 means they live completely separately, Milwaukee scores 82, New York 78 and Chicago 76. Anything above 60 is high.
Income mobility vis race and segregationThe authors of the Harvard-Berkeley study of intergenerational mobility devote a section to discussing the connection. “The main lesson of this analysis [in this section] is that both blacks and whites living in areas with large African American populations have lower rates of upward income mobility,” they write. They cannot pinpoint why, exactly, but their calculations say that segregation plays a role.
Personalities self-segregate depending on environment, improving their happinessThe more agreeable residents of London tended to be happiest outside the centre in more residential parts of the capital, where there was more space for gardens and parks. The same suburban areas were not so appealing to open, creative types though. “If you’re high in openness – artists and creative types – you tend to be much happier in a part of London that’s diverse and densely populated and where there’s a lot of stimulation to feed your curiosity,” said Rentfrow.
Chinn was a black man in Canton, Mississippi, who in the 1960s owned a farm, a rhythm and blues nightclub, a bootlegging operation, and a large collection of pistols, rifles, and shotguns with which he threatened local Klansmen and police when they attempted to encroach on his businesses or intimidate civil rights activists working to desegregate Canton and register black residents to vote. After one confrontation, in which a pistol-packing Chinn forced the notoriously racist and brutal local sheriff to stand down inside the county courthouse during a hearing for a civil rights worker, the lawman admitted, "There are only two bad sons of bitches in this county: me and that nigger C.O. Chinn."