As America continues to reel from the brutal attack on a supermarket and popular meeting point in Buffalo, New York, residents of the predominantly Black community also grapple with the fact that they could be targeted in this way by a shooter who freely shared his racist motivations for the crime on the internet.
According to CNN, Payton Gendron of Conklin, New York had shared messages on streaming and messaging platform Discord before the attack in which he said he chose the Buffalo ZIP code where Tops Friendly Market is located for its concentration of Black population. He shot and killed ten people and wounded three more.
This chart shows major U.S. metro areas with the highest Black-white neighborhood segregation, in … [+] index points (100=most segregated).
As seen in data aggregated by The Brookings Institution, Buffalo is in fact one of the most segregated metro areas in America when it comes to the division of Black and white population by neighborhood. In the analysis based on census tracts, Buffalo receives 69 out of 100 index points for segregation—the seventh highest of any U.S. metro with a population of at least one million people and a share of Black inhabitants of at least 3%.
The Northeast and parts of the Midwest are the U.S. regions which are still strongly affected by housing segregation, according to Brookings. The conditions have persisted since the historic migration of Black people from the South to the Northeast in the beginning of the 20th century. Black movement back to the South in the 1960s and ‘70s—after anti-discriminatory laws were in place—helped to integrate communities there better and segregation index scores in the region, as well as in the American West, have dropped below 60 in most places.
Stagnating populations, stagnating segregation
In the Northeast and Midwest, where Black populations have stagnated, old patterns of segregated living have proven more persistent. Neighborhood segregation was rated as most severe in Milwaukee, Wisconsin as well as in New York City and Chicago.
The least segregation between Black and white people in major metros was recorded in the American West, with Honolulu and Tucson, Arizona scoring below 40 index points. Raleigh in North Carolina was the least segregated Southern city in terms of Black and white segregation at 40 index points, the same score as Las Vegas. When it comes to white vs. Latino segregation, the picture looks more mixed regionally, with Los Angeles, Miami, Memphis and Houston among the most segregated together with New York, Boston and Providence.
Latino-white segregation scores, as well as those measuring the segregation of whites and Asians, are lower on average, however, than Black-white segregation ratings in U.S. metros. The Brookings Institution concludes that even at index ratings in the 30s and 40s—which could be considered at the low end of Black-white segregation in American metros—“the life experiences and access to community resources for nonwhite groups are very different from white residents.”

Charted by Statista