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Population, Space and Place


John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


A recent study shows that among the three age groups of youth, adult and older adult, youth-older adult has the highest age segregation while youth-adult has the lowest. Similar to many previous age segregation studies, racial-ethnic differences, an important population axis in segregation studies, were not considered. Prior studies are also limited to using two-group measures, failing to compare multiple groups together. We explore the complexity in measuring intersectional segregation focusing on the two axes of age and race-ethnicity and propose a conditional approach to measure age segregation by racial-ethnic groups, and racial-ethnic segregation by age groups. Using this approach, we empirically study the 2010 age-race-ethnic segregation at the county and state levels in the United States, using census tracts as the basic units. Both the two and multigroup dissimilarity indices were used. Results show that the racial-ethnic axis had been a stronger force in segregation than the age axis. Results also show disparities of racial-ethnic segregation across age groups with the highest levels present among older adults and in urban counties. For all three age groups, segregation levels involving Natives and Asians tend to be higher than those without them. In contrast, age segregation was the highest between youths and older adults, and the levels varied across racial-ethnic groups with Natives at the highest levels. Although age segregation was significantly different between urban and rural counties, higher segregation in urban areas were mostly involving Whites as opposed to higher segregation in rural counties involving minority racial groups. Studying age segregation should not be colour blinded, as nonwhite older adults in rural counties were more likely to experience higher levels of age segregation than other groups.