Mapping the Most Common Races
It’s been a challenge for me to fully understand what’s been going on lately, so I find myself looking at a lot of data and maps. It kind of feels like grasping at straws, but at least it’s something.
The map above shows the most prevalent race in each county, based on data from the 2013 American Community Survey 5-year estimates. Select and deselect to make various comparisons. Or, select just one race to see distribution. Low, medium, and high saturation indicates whether the prevalent race percentage is below or about the same, higher (greater than the national average plus-minus interval), or much higher than the national average (at least 50% higher), respectively.
For reference, the national estimates from the 5-year 2013 estimates where 63.3% white, 16.6% percent Hispanic, 12.2% black, 4.8% Asian, 0.7% Native American or Alaskan, and 0.2% Pacific Islander. The margin of error for all estimates is 0.1.
Click, drag, and zoom for details.
Here’s St. Louis County, Missouri, place of Ferguson. The small, dark blue sliver is St. Louis city.
Similarly, below is Baltimore, Maryland. The city is about 62 percent black and 28 percent white, whereas Baltimore County is an estimated 26 percent black and 62 percent white.
For me, it was interesting to compare nonwhite races, because whites tend to make up a high percentage that obscures the single-digit distributions. I didn’t expect to see such high percentages of Asian people in some counties, particularly in the Midwest.
So yeah, there that is.
The map doesn’t show everything. It’s on the county level, and as we’ve seen from Dustin Cable’s racial dot map, there’s plenty of variation on a block level. But it seems to be a decent quick mode of comparison, at least for the smaller groups.
Become a member. Learn to visualize data. From beginner to advanced.Join Today
This is for people interested in the process of creating, designing, and exploring data graphics. Your support goes directly to FlowingData, an independently run site.
What You Get
- Instant access to tutorials on how to make and design data graphics
- Source code and files to use with your own data
- In-depth courses on visualization in R
- Hand-picked links and resources from around the web
- Members-only newsletter
19 Maps That Will Blow Your Mind and Change the Way You See the World. Top All-time. You Won’t Believe Your Eyes. Watch.
Many lists of maps promise to change the way you see the world, but this one actually does.
Real Chart Rules to Follow
There are rules—usually for specific chart types meant to be read in a specific way—that you shouldn’t break. When they are, everyone loses. This is that small handful.