America's Most Diverse Cities

A new study out today ranks America's cities by their racial diversity. In general, the study found that "the country has become much more diverse at the metropolitan level," reports Conor Dougherty.
September 7, 2012, 1pm PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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Released today by the US2010 Project at Brown University, "Racial and Ethnic Diversity Goes Local: Charting Change in American Communities Over Three Decades" [PDF] tracks metropolitan diversity across five racial groups: "Non-Hispanic whites, Hispanics of any race, African-Americans, Asians and an "other" category that is largely made up of Native Americans, Alaska Natives and people of two or more races." 

According to the study's authors, Barrett A. Lee, John Iceland, and Gregory Sharp, "As of 2010, the most diverse communities in the U.S. are disproportionately western, southern, and coastal metropolitan areas and their principal cities and suburbs."

Vallejo, Calif., just north of San Francisco, was found to be the most diverse metropolitan area in the U.S. with a population that is 41% white, 24% Hispanic, 15% Asian, 14% black, and 6% other.

As Dougherty points out, "the big economic centers remain very diverse: The San Francisco, Washington, D.C., New York, Houston and Los Angeles metropolitan areas were all among the top 10 most diverse places in the U.S. But many smaller places are high up on the list."

Interestingly, notes Dougherty, "some of the least diverse places are almost entirely Hispanic: The least diverse metropolitan area was Laredo, Texas, which is 95.7% Hispanic." Most of the least diverse places, however, are overhwelmingly white. 

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Published on Friday, September 7, 2012 in The Wall Street Journal
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