We extend research on whites’ neighborhood contact with blacks, population composition, and prospects for desegregation by developing a new measure of the floor of racial residential segregation under conditions of low black-white contact. The measure incorporates the way in which multi ethnic contexts further constrain levels of black-white segregation. The results show that black-white desegregation is likely when the black population is small, but is unlikely otherwise. Yet, when multiple ethnic groups are sufficiently large, a moderate level of black-white segregation is necessary for whites to maintain low neighborhood contact with blacks, even when the proportion of African Americans is small.

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