Mobility Patterns and User Dynamics in Racially Segregated Geographies of US Cities

  • Nibir Bora
  • Yu-Han Chang
  • Rajiv Maheswaran
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 8393)


In this paper we try to understand how racial segregation of the geographic spaces of three major US cities (New York, Los Angeles and Chicago) affect the mobility patterns of people living in them. Collecting over 75 million geo-tagged tweets from these cities during a period of one year beginning October 2012 we identified home locations for over 30,000 distinct users, and prepared models of travel patterns for each of them. Dividing the cities’ geographic boundary into census tracts and grouping them according to racial segregation information we try to understand how the mobility of users living within an area of a particular predominant race correlate to those living in areas of similar race, and to those of a different race. While these cities still remain to be vastly segregated in the 2010 census data, we observe a compelling amount of deviation in travel patterns when compared to artificially generated ideal mobility. A common trend for all races is to visit areas populated by similar race more often. Also, blacks, Asians and Hispanics tend to travel less often to predominantly white census tracts, and similarly predominantly black tracts are less visited by other races.


Mobility patterns racial segregation Twitter 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nibir Bora
    • 1
  • Yu-Han Chang
    • 1
  • Rajiv Maheswaran
    • 1
  1. 1.Information Sciences InstituteUniversity of Southern CaliforniaMarina del ReyUSA

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