Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Census map reveals the colors of America

Here’s an intriguing interactive U.S. Census map from the Experimental Theology blog.   The map displays the nation’s population distribution, using the 2010 census data, of every single person in America, color-coded by ethnicity. 

The map has 308,745,538 dots, each representing an individual American. Caucasians are shown by blue dots, African-Americans by green dots, Hispanics by orange dots, Asians red dots, and other groups brown dots.

Click to the blog post for a bird's eye view showing how America’s colors are spread out.

“But,” as the post says, “the real insights come when you use the interactive map to zoom in on various cities in America. At this finer, local scale racial segregation appears in just about every American city. Go to the map and zoom in on your town.”

Adds the author, Richard Black, “One of the takeaways, for me at least, is that encountering difference will involve some intentionality. You have to, quite literally, move in different spaces.”  

But Black, of Abilene, Texas, a city divided into Anglo and Latino neighborhoods,  finds an element of grace in this. When he drives the van for Freedom Fellowship, a local ministry that feeds and reaches out to the poor and homeless, he says, “I'm getting out of the ‘blue Abilene’ and exploring parts of my city that I never would have seen before. And let me tell you, it's eye opening.”

Click for the full post and interactive map: