Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Chalkboard Maps: Racial Enclaves

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An interactive Visual Fusion map application is now available:
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Download the full-sized image here.

This map shows the geographic dispersion of census tracts where the proportions of White, Black, Hispanic, or Asian Americans far exceed (in this case, two standard deviations from the mean) their national average, based on 2010 census data.  Considering their location within the broader environment of the contiguous United States, these areas can be thought of as sorts of enclaves, which, when mapped, reveal interesting patterns.

There are two immediately remarkable things about this distribution.  The first is the clear geo-cultural patterns associated with each of the races, each illustrating the current status of hundreds of years of migration, forced migration, and everything in-between.  Secondly, notice how distinct they are; there is almost complete non-overlappedness between them (a few exceptions are some urban tracts where the high relative proportion of Blacks and Asians result in a shared enclave).  High relative proportions of one group will logically imply the lower proportion of others, but I was surprised by the near total heterogeneity.

Get a closer view of urban enclaves in the companion map.

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