During my visit to Princeton 8 years ago I was struck by how central questions of race and ethnicity were in U.S. social sciences. Segregation remains one of the major legacies of U.S. history. Research has shown that integrated and diverse cities fare better in a number of dimensions — yet the evidence presented below suggests that cities remain heavily segregated.
Today I am releasing a set of new interactive maps for the top 20 most populated metropolitan statistical areas of the United States. The remaining 330 metro areas will come online soon. These maps allow a web user to click on the name of a metropolitan area to see the racial make-up of neighborhoods.
What makes the data unique is that it is comprehensive, interactive and over the next few months data will go back in time (1970-2010 are in the works).
Census data does have quirks — for instance population in Central Park is non-zero — but it’s the best available data on the topic. I am sure you will find other quirks than Central Park population.
I start today with maps for the fraction of African Americans by census tract.
The maps may take a few seconds to load.
Top 20 Most Populated Metropolitan Areas
New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ-PA – Population 18,502,340 – link
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, CA – Population 12,617,920 – link
Chicago-Joliet-Naperville, IL-IN-WI – Population 9,298,407 – link
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX – Population 6,294,195 – link
Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, TX – Population 5,868,844 – link
Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD – Population 5,797,517 – link
Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, FL – Population 5,487,714 – link
Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV – Population 5,479,895 – link
Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, GA – Population 5,184,490 – link
Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, MA-NH – Population 4,392,939 – link
Detroit-Warren-Livonia, MI – Population 4,247,606 – link
San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, CA – Population 4,245,474 – link
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA – Population 4,148,968 – link
Phoenix-Mesa-Glendale, AZ – Population 4,113,465 – link
Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA – Population 3,374,336 – link
Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI – Population 3,215,778 – link
San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, CA – Population 2,993,347 – link
St. Louis, MO-IL – Population 2,756,664 – link
Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL – Population 2,733,998 – link
Baltimore-Towson, MD – Population 2,641,566 – link
Details and Acknowledgments
- Neighborhoods are census tracts. Metropolitan area borders according to the Core Based Statistical Areas.
- Uses the leaflet, rgeos, rgdal, sp R packages.
- Streets, city names, and borders from the Open Street Map project.
- Raw data source: Census 2010 tract-level data from the National Historical Geographic Information System.