The dissimilarity index can be interpreted as the proportion of the minority population who would need to move in order to achieve full integration.
Without getting into the math, the dissimilarity index measures the degree of segregation of racial groups across the neighborhoods of a metropolitan area. It is a single measure for the whole city and the suburbs connected to it through employment, shopping, entertainment & recreation commuting. It summarizes the degree to which each racial/ethnic group lives in exclusive neighborhoods (full segregation) vs. every neighborhood has exactly the same distribution of racial/ethnic groups as the whole metro area (full integration).
When you do dig into the details of the math, an equally plausible interpretation would be:
The dissimilarity index can be interpreted as the proportion of the White population who would need to move in order to achieve full integration.
Which begs the question, why is it more intuitive to think about the minority population needing to move to achieve full integration, and so strange to think about the White population needing to move to get to the same goal? Why is it more acceptable to countenance (even in purely abstract terms) the widespread uprooting of Black and Brown lives?
When you stop to think about it, the historical processes that generated our current highly segregated residential patterns were largely driven by Whites leaving urban neighborhoods and plowing productive farmland into new spacious suburban neighborhoods. So if anything, the most logical way to reverse segregation, to retrace the steps, would be for Whites to move back into city centers, rather than further hollowing out extremely segregated metropolitan areas like Detroit, Milwaukee, Cleveland & Buffalo.
|Charlotte - 61% segregated|