Diversity in the Real World, Following Up on the Parable of the Polygons
In December, I introduced the Parable of the Polygons, an incredibly engaging and revealing bit of computer-generated game theory (read: fancy graphics with shapes that move based on laws of social behavior), designed to illustrate how segregation can happen in our cities.
This got me curious about how segregation happens in our cities today, and what it might look like to find a neighborhood that was truly diverse. In this vein, I’ve compiled data from all U.S. Census Tracts with populations larger than 500 and created an index* which ranks each by its level of diversity. Above, you can see a map of the top ten most diverse (green stars) and top ten least diverse (red teardrops) tracts in the U.S.
Here are the most diverse:
|2||0.9552||AK||Airport Heights North, Anchorage||9.01|
|3||0.9128||AK||Russian Jack Springs Park North, Anchorage||8.01|
|4||0.901||WA||Portland Avenue Park Area, Tacoma||9400.07|
|5||0.9081||NY||South Ozone Park, Queens||100|
|6||0.9076||NY||South Ozone Park, Queens||96|
|7||0.9023||NY||South Ozone Park, Queens||840|
|8||0.8973||NY||South Ozone Park, Queens||838|
|9||0.8959||NY||South Ozone Park, Queens||846.01|
|10||0.8898||NY||E. Jamaica Estates, Queens||478|
Here are the least diverse:
|1||0.0126||VA||N Buchanan County||102|
|2||0.0132||TX||Maverick County, near Eagle Pass||9502.04|
|3||0.0225||PA||Central Cambria County/Beaverdale||131|
|4||0.0229||OH||NE Holmes County||9763.02|
|5||0.0235||WV||Western McDowell County||9539|
|6||0.0239||KY||SW Breathitt County||9205|
|7||0.0241||VA||SW Buchanan County||107|
|8||0.0256||AZ||SW Yuma County, near San Luis||114.06|
|9||0.0258||TN||NW Claiborne County/Clairfield||9704|
|10||0.0258||NY||East Midwood, Brooklyn||754|
More analysis will be following, but in the meantime I’ll let you do your own analysis of these results.
*Index is based on an entropy index as described in academic literature. My method grouped U.S. Census data into 6 racial/ethnic groups: White, Black, Native American, Asian/Pacific, Other/Multiple, and Hispanic. The proportion of each of these groups per tract is then put into the following formula:
I realize that this is not a perfect representation of diversity, but perfection must be balanced with ease of use.