Racial and ethnic diversity spreads across the country

Sep 07, 2012

Increasing racial and ethnic diversity has long been apparent at the national level and in our nation's largest metropolitan gateways. Since 1980 over nine-tenths of all cities, suburbs and small towns have become more diverse. And rural communities are following the lead of their urban counterparts, according to a U.S. 2010 policy brief.

"What really stands out is the near-universal nature of the trend toward greater racial and at the local level," said Barry Lee, professor of sociology and , Penn State, and co-author of the brief.

Another significant finding is the decline in white-dominant places, where whites make up 90 percent or more of the population. Three decades ago these places represented two-thirds of the total. Today, they are down to only one-third of the total. In their stead are a growing number of where minorities are a significant share of the population and often where no group is a majority.

Despite the general upward trend in diversity, dramatic contrasts are still apparent between communities. At the high end of the diversity scale, places such as Oakland and Jersey City now have roughly equal proportions of white, black, Hispanic and Asian residents. At the low end, the most homogeneous communities tend to remain all white or all Hispanic.

A unique feature of this study is that it included micropolitan areas where the largest community has a population under 50,000, as well as .

"We feel that studying these areas is important because they form the core of small-town America," said Lee. "One of the surprises is that even small towns now have to adapt to newcomers who are from different backgrounds than their longtime residents."

Explore further: Power can corrupt even the honest

More information: The full report may be downloaded at www.s4.brown.edu/us2010/Data/R… t/report08292012.pdf

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Where Hispanics live in the US may change over time

Oct 17, 2008

A study of residential patterns in America suggests that White and Black Hispanics born in the U.S. are more likely to share neighborhoods with native non-Hispanic Whites and African Americans, compared to foreign-born Hispanics ...

Study: Residential segregation still a problem in US

May 31, 2012

Despite increasing numbers of multiethnic neighborhoods in the United States, relatively few black or white families are actually moving into these types of communities, according to a new study in the June issue of the American So ...

Recommended for you

Power can corrupt even the honest

2 hours ago

When appointing a new leader, selectors base their choice on several factors and typically look for leaders with desirable characteristics such as honesty and trustworthiness. However once leaders are in power, can we trust ...

Learning at 10 degrees north

3 hours ago

Secluded beaches, calypso music and the entertaining carnival are often what come to mind when thinking of the islands of Trinidad and Tobago. But Dal Earth Sciences students might first consider Trinidad's ...

How to find the knowns and unknowns in any research

4 hours ago

Have you ever felt overloaded by information? Ever wondered how to make sense of claims and counter-claims about a topic? With so much information out there on many different issues, how is a person new to ...

Minorities energize US consumer market, according to report

4 hours ago

The buying power of minority groups in the U.S. has reached new heights and continues to outpace cumulative inflation, according to the latest Multicultural Economy Report from the Selig Center for Economic Growth at the ...

User comments : 2

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

mrlewish
not rated yet Sep 08, 2012
I'm surprised that the no-nothing party hasn't shown up yet.
ValeriaT
not rated yet Sep 08, 2012
It's essentially a physical phenomena: a spontaneous symmetry breaking, condensation and separation of "ethnic crystals" within human society. When the human society is rich, it remains in its hot and homogeneous state. When its economy goes down due the financial crisis (due the long-standing ignorance of important findings, like the cold fusion), then the society freezes, it polarizes itself into mutually fighting social groups and segregates itself into its constituents like every crystallizing material. Not surprisingly the various socialistic tendencies are on the rise during this, because the socialism is essentially a social strategy for poor years of gradual recession. Even the families at the individual level become more compact and social in the years of financial crisis. When the people are rich, they tend to live more independently each other.