Population Distribution Map Shows Shocking Modern-Day Segregation In Cities (INFOGRAPHICS)

In what can only be called the most comprehensive population distribution-by-race map of all time, Dustin Cable at University of Virginia’s Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service has created a true masterpiece. Using the 2010 United States census as the data source, it puts a dot on the map for every person in America, color-coded by race. Here’s the contiguous United States as a whole:

census data map

As you can see, rural America is largely white, with minorities concentrated around urban areas. Yet even within cities, it’s not so simple. As you can see, in many areas you can see almost a purple color, or other colors that aren’t represented in the key. That’s from integrated populations; with 300 million dots on the map, zooming further out will cause color bleed. Wired explains:

White people are shown with blue dots; African-Americans with green; Asians with red; and Latinos with orange, with all other race categories from the Census represented by brown. Since the dots are smaller than pixels at most zoom levels, Cable assigned shades of color based on the multiple dots therein. From a distance, for example, certain neighborhoods will look purple, but zooming-in reveals a finer-grained breakdown of red and blue–or, really, black and white.

“There are a lot of moving parts in this process, so this can cause different shades of color to appear at different zoom levels in really dense areas, like you see in NYC,” Cable explains. “I played around with dot size and transparency for a while and settled on the current scheme as being adequate.” You can read more about Cable’s methodology here, but it comes down to this: When you’re dealing with 300 million dots at varying levels of zoom, getting the presentation just right is as much an art as a science.

Wired also pointed out the stunning segregation occurring in some cities to this very day. Take, for example, Detroit:


Now, there’s certainly nothing wrong with associating with people that look like you (that’s just silly) but it’s frightening to know that there are still places that quite literally have race lines drawn by city streets. Of course, many large cities don’t suffer from this problem quite so badly. Many cities have overlapping and blurred populations, especially on the west coast.

The map, which can be found in full, glorious detail here, has a nearly-unimaginable range of uses. It’s the only map to EVER do this, and it could be used for valuable information by every city planner in the country, not to mention hundreds, if not thousands, of organizations.

Here’s how part of Houston looks, with neighborhoods easily discernible according to racial boundaries, as well as several highly integrated areas:


I really recommend going to the map yourself and taking a look around — what you learn may astound you.

Resposted from Occupy Democrats with permission.

About Justin Acuff

Justin Acuff is a political activist, writer and admitted news junkie. He has written hundreds of articles that have been read millions of times. Justin is a Senior Editor for Addicting Info, the owner and managing editor of Young Progressive Voices, and contributes to other publications as well. The best part? He isn't even 21 yet. Follow his Facebook fan page to get access to his latest articles, find his website here, or follow him on Twitter.


41 thoughts on “Population Distribution Map Shows Shocking Modern-Day Segregation In Cities (INFOGRAPHICS)

  1. LMAO…Shocking?! Not quite shocking for those of us who LIVED it.

    Posted by Brian | December 22, 2013, 5:48 pm
  2. Interesting to see the correlation of crime with demographic. Of course this is nothing new. Flint and Detroit for example. This map is like a window into the past to see how society was built up. I dont think forced integration and flag waving of such is the answer. The answer is much deeper than a common parrot for the right or the left. Unity will be done through the true independent mind, and not liberal or conservative ideology. These ideologies of both sides of the spectrum prohibit true progressive thinking. Closed minded does apply to “progressive” and not just conservatives.

    Posted by Jon Bowers | December 23, 2013, 9:16 am
    • With which demographic? If you’re meaning race, well, you’re wrong.

      Posted by Justin Acuff | December 23, 2013, 2:39 pm
    • So I wonder whats the difference between a liberal and a conservative is….hmmmm. one party is consider progressive while the other is anti progressive hmmmm. When you make statements that put both party in the same boat your part of the problem cause it shows you dont pay attention. Dont put demacrats in the same boat as republicans by now you should know better. They tried to elect ronmey while we tried to elect obama. They are anti choice we are pro choice. You’ll get more progressive change when you rid of the party that is against progressive change.

      Posted by douglas suarez | January 3, 2014, 12:01 pm
  3. Wow. What this does is validate that even under desegregation, people still segregate. This is no surprise though. I went to high school in the 80’s and the same is true today – lunch room cafeterias, whites at one table, blacks at another, hispanics at another. In bars; whites cluster together and so do blacks and each group intimidatingly stare at the lone wolves who refused to go along with it and break the ranks of conformity. I’d love for you to come on my show and talk about this map if you’re inclined.

    Posted by Carlette | January 2, 2014, 8:58 am
  4. Please don’t post this publicly (delete the comment) but if you ARE interested in coming on my show,

    Posted by Carlette | January 2, 2014, 8:59 am
  5. I can see this being useful for Gerrymandering to deny minorities their Constitutional vote. We need to rewrite the districting legislation to ensure that this cannot happen any more. Using Gerrymandering to disenfranchise people is a failure of American principles.

    Posted by alsanbalaur | January 2, 2014, 9:14 am
  6. It’s easy from this to see how this information can be used to Gerrymander away people’s voting rights. We need to change the laws to STOP Gerrymandering.

    Posted by alsanbalaur | January 2, 2014, 9:19 am
  7. is it segregation or is it “birds of a feather flock together”?

    Posted by harleyblueswoman | January 2, 2014, 9:56 am
  8. The bottom line is that neighborhoods or areas with integration down to the block or individual living unit level are very rare in the world (not just the U.S.). The norm is what you see here, and why it’s shocking is beyond me. Anyone who this shocks is quite naive. What’s interesting is that a recent study holds that neighborhoods that are integrated down to the block or individual living unit level are LESS stable than those that are not. The proposal is that people who are of the same race, religion and/or economic background have more common interests and are more likely to be able to readily think alike and act together than neighborhoods that have a wider mix of cultures and thus fewer common cultural connections.

    Posted by ronwf | January 2, 2014, 10:09 am
  9. Take a grammar class. The writing in this article is juvenile at best. “As you can see, in many areas you can see…”. Really? Do you proofread your writing? As for the information, this is how it was in chicago during the 70s and 80s. Big deal. People like to live by and associate with people of like ideals, like values, and like ethnicity. I grew up in a Polish neighborhood. So what is the problem? Shocking? Hardly.

    Posted by andrew | January 2, 2014, 10:48 am
  10. Shocking? Where have you been all these years. Humans cluster together with people like themselves. I live in an area that’s segregated by income (it’s high) and has only 8% “non-hispanic white”.

    When there’s no race, when all languages disappear but one, when religion becomes a curious historical fact and when everybody makes the same amount of money, we’ll have a truly integrated society. I.e., never. The way to get rid of race is multi-racial family formation. It’s happening right now. The trend is promising. It’ll just take (quite) a while.

    Posted by Edward Gerety | January 2, 2014, 3:12 pm
  11. Keep going Justin!! Do it all while you’re young, because that’s when you have the ability to do the most!!! and don’t listen to any stupid ppl that think they know more than you just because they’re older—most ppl start losing their intelligence as they age and forget most of what they learn because they don’t use it. Keep going! Keep going!! Don’t ever stop!! But take necessary precautions with the government, just do it wisely.

    Posted by Jenni Duran | January 2, 2014, 7:47 pm
  12. I’m more shocked by how few people live in the western United States.

    Posted by Bitch Republic (@BitchR) | January 3, 2014, 12:40 am
    • You have to remember a lot of the west is uninhabitable. We have mountains, and I do not mean hills like the Appalachian range. I mean MOUNTAINS. We also have a lot of desert areas, and few rivers.You can not live without water. Also do not forget the people back east had a lot more time to populate vs. us out west.

      Posted by Travis | January 11, 2014, 7:59 am
  13. I guess this points to white racial hatred the KKK and ANP right?

    Posted by ragnarocker | January 3, 2014, 6:08 am
  14. It doesn’t matter where you live, or what color you are! As long as neighbors are neighbors and they look out for each other.

    Posted by The Freddy | January 7, 2014, 8:09 am
  15. t’s not as simple as colored dots on a map. For starters, there is segregation that others impose on us and segregation that we impose upon ourselves (like where we choose to live). Once we make that distinction, especially as it relates to this story, then a meaningful discussion about segregation can be had.

    Posted by Michael Smith-Adams | January 11, 2014, 7:45 am
  16. I am a Democrat/Liberal in almost everything, but there is something missing in this story – segregation implies that people are somehow kept from living with people of other races. And while it is true that there is still a NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard) attitude in many parts of the country, there are legal avenues to pursue when you are truly a victim of discrimination.

    But I don’t think that is the issue here. I think people are going to live where they feel most comfortable and that usually happens to be with those “of their own kind” – and that applies to ANY race or orientation. That is why we have black “ghettos”, Asian “ghettos”, gay “ghettos” – people tend to want to live in areas with like people. I myself sort of fall out of that category – I am a gay Democrat living in a Republican bastion/suburb of Cleveland. But that is of my own choice because I like the town overall.

    I don’t think it’s “shocking” that people tend to move/live in areas where they feel more welcome. There are places in America where we have melting pots – Cleveland Heights just outside Cleveland is a prime example of a town with many races all mixed into one town – but that is something rare.

    Posted by Eric Oswald | January 11, 2014, 8:16 am
  17. wait a second my dad is white and my mom is Mexican does that me like a purple or something? this is inaccurate, i don’t see how inferred tech can identify race……..

    Posted by Eli Neilson | January 11, 2014, 12:24 pm
  18. What about countries in the Middle East? Too segregated for my taste! I’d love to see more blue dots in china! Are they racist there or something? People are idiots.western countries need to be dominantly blue. But obviously to preserve our WHITE Heritage we will be called racist. We don’t want black neighbours. Just as the blacks don’t want us overpopulating their lands. Stay on your own turf, how dare you come into my land and try changing it to yours? What the hell?

    Posted by bee | January 12, 2014, 10:58 am
    • This is a serious question.

      Are you fucking stupid? Do you not know of other nations, of the struggle of racism within other cultures? Do you not know how immigration works, or how different peoples have moved over times?

      If you want the land of your “white heritage,” I suggest you make your way back to northern Europe. Ass.

      Posted by Justin Acuff | January 12, 2014, 12:24 pm
      • This is a big world, honey, and only a few countries are left thriving, mainly western. I don’t know if ill ever get an answer as to why that is, I’m not pointing fingers, and I simply don’t want what good is left in this world to be corrupted by people who flee their land because someone fucked something up, to come use up limited resources, and jobs which haven’t already been outsourced for cheaper labour to their own countries. Yes, many self righteous people will call me evil, but what the fuck are you doing to help people fix their homeland? To help the world thrive as a whole?

        Posted by bee | January 12, 2014, 3:05 pm
      • I donate quite a bit to international charity and operate a website and promotion network where I spread ideas about how to improve the world.

        You, on the other hand, use economics to justify racism. I ask you again: are you fucking stupid?

        Posted by Justin Acuff | January 12, 2014, 3:27 pm
  19. Politics is just the tip of the iceberg, lol, and no less significant. I hope one day you’ll understand the truth, learn from history and try thinking for yourself. Not everything is black and white like you obviously think.

    Posted by bee | January 12, 2014, 4:12 pm
    • Or like you obviously think? Lol.

      Please, enlighten me, oh great wise one, as to how the forced slavery of black people (by the way, slavery is what our old economy was built on — so should we reinstate that, too?) is contributing to our nation’s demise today.

      Or, how exactly our “jobs” are being stolen when net immigration is down.

      I really, really hate people like you. Your pseudointellectual bigotry is the same shit-stained material as the bullshit propagated by other ignorant racists the world over.

      Posted by Justin Acuff | January 12, 2014, 4:15 pm
      • Of course when American history is brought up your brain churns out SLAVERY! I’m glad this country allows people to passionately fight for what they feel is right, you’re young and have a lot to learn, and only by yourself when you have a clear mind.

        Posted by bee | January 12, 2014, 4:21 pm
  20. Ps. Mind your vocabulary, profanities don’t get your point across. Of course, as I’ve said before, you’ll learn with age.

    Posted by bee | January 12, 2014, 4:23 pm
    • Racism doesn’t come with age. It’s more of a taught thing, but keep trying to justify your bullshit hypotheses.

      Furthermore, profanity doesn’t indicate a lack of vocabulary. It’s actually related to lalochezia, or the satisfaction gained from swearing — and this isn’t a place where you’ll find a fuck given if I offend your delicate sensibilities.

      Keep using my age. That’s a genetic fallacy, after all, so I’m laughing as you paint yourself the fool for assuming something as trivial as age means anything in an argument.

      I AM bringing up slavery. Not in this nation; in the world. Although, in this nation, economics — having a poor working class — is what has repeatedly brought in all these people of color you have such distaste for.

      Please tell me — what, exactly, makes you so educated and smart? You seem as though you’ve walked through life with your head in a bag, oblivious to life. Your experience is meaningless, and anecdote isn’t.

      Comment a couple more times, please. I’d like to leave your few comments here up, but I need a couple more to mark the rest as span and ban you from commenting.

      This site is a forum to spread ideas of progressivism, not racism, bigotry, and hate.

      Posted by Justin Acuff | January 12, 2014, 4:42 pm
      • We both know your ears are tuned elsewhere darling, and after each of my posts your anger is obviously progressing, and that was not my intent. Like I’ve said in my first post call me what you will,was expressing my opinion, as valid as anyone else’s, backed by maturity, and experience living in different counties, from reading, from living, all you’ve done is spread hate to those whose opinions contradict yours. Therefore I have no interest in explaining anything to someone who definitely has their world figured out. Good luck in your endeavours.t

        Posted by bee | January 12, 2014, 5:06 pm
      • Not tolerating intolerance is not hate. Racism is. Good day.

        Posted by Justin Acuff | January 12, 2014, 6:49 pm
      • Also, I note that “maturity,” “experience,” “reading,” and “living” are all pretty ambiguous and no real evidence is offered. In other words, “I’ve been on this planet a bit, and I have opinions! They must be valid!”


        Posted by Justin Acuff | January 12, 2014, 6:54 pm
    • Hello Kettle (bee)?? I’ve got the Pot on Line 1 for you. You’re using just as many vulgarities and for you to try and take Justin to task for that is disengenuous. So is telling us you have a degree and education. There’s no proof of that for us and it doesn’t fortify your arguments either. Both of these missteps have only made any arguments you might have had lose any weight whatsoever.

      Posted by bigredeo | January 12, 2014, 8:22 pm
  21. Having a degree, and plenty of education have earned me the right to laugh at you now. I really expected you to be right on at least one topic. Talk less, think more, please. Being for segregation isn’t an act against humanity, child, it’s how humans thrive and live. Many agree, wether Asian, black or white.

    Posted by bee | January 12, 2014, 7:52 pm
    • Education means absolutely nothing. I have friends and employees that didn’t finish high school among those with Ivy League degrees. Going to college doesn’t mean you learned anything. That takes openmindedness.

      Repeatedly attempting to belittle me due to my youth is a genetic fallacy. Continued use of fallacious argumentation noted.

      “Many agree” as an argument is a plea to popularity — also a fallacy.

      Have any arguments that are actually cogent, or…?

      Posted by Justin Acuff | January 12, 2014, 9:22 pm
  22. ‘Education means absolutely nothing.’ – And there you go folks!

    Posted by bee | January 13, 2014, 7:04 pm
    • Yep, you’ve demonstrated your ability to fallaciously take quotes out of context. Care to provide the qualifying background for that cherry-picked statement?

      Especially as educated people are largely AGAINST the very things your for. If you want to bring up education as an opinion qualifier, you will find yourself (still) in the minority.

      Posted by Justin Acuff | January 13, 2014, 7:31 pm
  23. I believe I’ve made my point hehe

    Posted by bee | January 13, 2014, 7:05 pm


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