Visualizing racial segregation

I recently ran across an interesting map from the Demographics Research Group at the University of  Virginia. (Specifically at the Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service – gotta get that school name in there!)

Using 2010 Census data, researchers created an interactive map with racially color-coded dots for each person  residing in the United States. In total, the map has 308,745,538 dots, coded for White (blue), Black (green), Asian (red), Hispanic (orange), and Other (brown).

The map is really fascinating, so you should check it out.

Looking at the full map, you can see some general geographic trends – the large Black population in the south east, the Hispanic population in the south west, the fact that no one lives in the west

Of course, when I realized the map was interactive the first thing I had to do was look at my respective home towns.

Oakland is one of the most diverse cities in the country, and frankly is better integrated than many. Yet the map still shows clear racial segregation between neighborhoods. Along the industrial docks – the “flat lands,” as they’re called, you can see the large Black, Hispanic, and Asian populations. By the way, can you guess which area is Oakland’s Chinatown?

Then to the right, as you start getting into the Oakland hills, you can see wealthy, White, Piedmont as well as the middle class, White neighborhoods of the hills.

And if you’re wondering, I grew off 98th ave (bottom right). At least my neighborhood is more integrated than most – not too many White folks, but a good mix of everyone else.


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