Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Nation’s Census Tracks

A new study from the U.S. Census Bureau offers data on the diversity of every census tract in the United States. Overall, the diversity index nationwide is 61.1 percent. This means that there was a 61.1 percent chance that two people chosen at random from a particular census tract were from different racial or ethnic groups. A value of 0 indicates that everyone in the population has the same racial and ethnic characteristics. A value close to 100 indicates that almost everyone in the population has different racial and ethnic characteristics.

Seven census tracts with a population over 2,000 had a diversity index of 82.0 percent or more — the top four in Anchorage, Alaska, and the other three in Queens County, New York. The most diverse track in the nation in Anchorage had a population that was 19.9 percent White, 14.1 percent Black, 11 percent American Indian or Alaskan native, 11.1 percent Asian, 17.3 percent Hawaiian native or Pacific Islander, 12.4 percent Hispanic, and 13.6 percent biracial.

Several other states also had tracts with a high diversity index. Like Alaska and New York, Hawaii, Washington, and Massachusetts each had at least one tract with a diversity index of 80.0 percent or more. And California, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, and Nevada had at least one tract with a diversity index of 78.0 percent or more.

Four U.S. tracts with populations over 2,000 had a diversity index under 2.2 percent in 2020: Daviess County, Indiana (1.9%); LaGrange County, Indiana (1.9%); Yuma County, Arizona (2.1%); and Webb County, Texas (2.1%).

The two census tracts in Indiana had a population that was more than 99 percent White. In Yuma County, Arizona, and Webb County, Texas, the population was 99 percent Hispanic.

 

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