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3 maps that show school segregation in the US

Libby Nelson is Vox's policy editor, leading coverage of how government action and inaction shape American life. Libby has more than a decade of policy journalism experience, including at Inside Higher Ed and Politico. She joined Vox in 2014.

In nearly all states, white students go to school with other white students, and black students go to school with black students. You can see that segregation in these maps from the Urban Institute.

The vast majority of white students, for example, attend majority white schools:

Map via the Urban Institute Urban Institute

(Urban Institute)

The map for black students makes a large swathe of the US look well-integrated. But those tend to be counties with very few black students in the first place. Counties where there are more black residents also see more school segregation.

urban institute school segregation map blacks

(Urban Institute)

And where Latino students are most prevalent, the trend is spreading to them too — although in many of these counties white students are in the minority, so it's logical that schools are majority-nonwhite:

urban institute school segregation map latinos

(Urban Institute)

American schools are, in a way, getting more diverse: they are projected to majority-minority for the first time this year. But that statistic hides the truth about schools' racial makeup. Even as students become more diverse, many are attending classes with other kids who look like them.

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