University of Illinois at Chicago
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Demographic Change and Perceptions of Racism

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-03-30, 18:42 authored by Christopher Maggio
Various research has demonstrated that rapid racial demographic change may aid in triggering various forms of backlash under certain conditions. This has led scholars to speak of Whites defending their local environment in the face of eroding racial dominance. However, little research has addressed how perceptions of racism among minorities may be triggered under conditions of demographic change. This study attempts to fill this gap in the literature by examining the relationship between racial demographic change for Blacks, Hispanics, and Asians and perceptions of racial problems among these groups in the United States. Using standard OLS regressions, ordered logistic regressions, multinomial logistic regressions, and techniques accounting for selection into treatment, I find that Blacks and Hispanics living in counties undergoing rapid growth of Black and Hispanic populations, respectively, have higher perceptions of racial problems. Asians show no evidence of increased perceptions of racial problems in counties undergoing rapid Asian growth. For Blacks, this relationship is concentrated among those without at least a four-year degree and residents of counties with lower initial White populations (and higher initial Black populations). For Hispanics, it is similarly concentrated among those without at least a four-year degree, but also is likely stronger among residents of counties with higher initial White populations (and lower initial Hispanic populations), highlighting unique racial dynamics. This research adds to a growing body of work showing the importance of examining demographic change at the local level in order to understand some of today's most pressing political and social issues.



Maggio, C. (2021). Demographic Change and Perceptions of Racism. Du Bois Review, 18(2), 251-287.


Cambridge University Press (CUP)


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