City-Data Forum Most diverse metropolitan areas (Using 2008 American Community Survey numbers)
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01-15-2010, 02:55 PM
 Location: Northridge, Los Angeles, CA 2,685 posts, read 6,078,591 times Reputation: 2349

Quote:
 Originally Posted by Island_OnThe_Land Lifeshadower: Very interesting post. I would like some additional explanation for your initial calculation. I get mechanically what you did: the sum of the squares of each group minus 1. What you seem to have measured is "racial/ethnic balance" which I suppose can also be called "diversity." As the raw figures show, LA County has the lowest percentage of WHITE-NON HISPANICS yet it is ranked 3rd in your "diversity" ranking system. If one were measuring what metro has the lowest % of non-hispainic whites than LA County would be tops. Many demogrpahers have used that as the measrue of diversity since non-hispanic whites were the largest group in the USA for so long. But I suppose in a changing world your method has merit too......
Sure thing :

As I have repeated throughout the thread, the formula I used to calculate the diversity index comes from probability theory and sample size methodology. The US Census uses the exact same formula (check out the link on the first page) to calculate the same exact thing, except I threw out variables that would be too statistically insignificant for meaningful data collection (basically, any groups that have less than 0.5% of the total population).

Basically, what's being calculated here (and I repeat this again and again) is what are the chances that any two people within a metropolitan area will be of different, US Census defined racial groups? If you look at all the indicies, they are all percentages. For example:

1) In the SF CSA, there is a 68.7% chance that any two people will be from two different racial groups
2) In the Houston CSA, there is a 67.6% chance that any two people will be from two different racial groups
3) In the Los Angeles CSA, there is a 66.4% chance that any two people will be from two different racial groups.

Simply having less of one group (like non-Hispanic Whites) won't really affect the data IF another group simply takes up a disproportionate percentage. After all, every group has unitary value (each group is WEIGHED the same) with no preference being given to the non-White groups. That's why simply stating that 'there are less White people in LA' doesn't necessarily make it the more diverse. After all, the Rio Grande Valley in Texas 80%-90% Hispanic and no one ever accused it of being very diverse. If you want to weigh the groups different (like assigning Whites a value of 1; Blacks, Latinos, and Asians a value of 2) all you need to do is multiply the percentage of the affected group by the value. However, that would make talking about 'diversity' meaningless because there is no equity.

I think the issue troubling most people in this thread is the term 'diversity' which is an amorphous concept with no real meaning. I didn't calculate 'balance' or anything of that sort, but rather probabilities. This is why adding more than 10 groups would make any probability equation meaningless because it would make them ALL statistically insignificant. In other words, there will be an 99% chance of running into another group almost everywhere in the country. It is what it is.

Again, I will reiterate: The US is a diverse country as a whole. If there is already a 50% (or .5) percent chance of running into another race, then that's pretty good. Arguing over a few percentage points doesn't matter in the bigger scheme of things. It is what it is.

I didn't rank the data out of malice. The numbers spoke for themselves, and it organized ITSELF along those lines. If you have trouble with the rankings, 1) Do the math yourself and check again 2) Write to the US Census for better data collection 3)Come up with your own methodology that can be measured with data

I'm sick of City-Data threads that become a series of anecdotal statements which can be faked, or easily challenged (on topics that could be measured in real life (just check out the first 10 pages of this thread). You can't measure things like 'cultural influence' or 'most powerful cities', but you can measure things like 'economic power' 'GDP' 'racial diversity'. It will be exciting to see what the new US Census looks like this year, to see if anything really changed.

Last edited by Lifeshadower; 01-15-2010 at 03:09 PM..

01-15-2010, 03:26 PM
 2,867 posts, read 4,406,309 times Reputation: 3546
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Lifeshadower I think the issue troubling most people in this thread is the term 'diversity' which is an amorphous concept with no real meaning.
To be fair to the direction the thread inevitably has flowed, data collected as "information" has no real meaning, by the same token, except that which is applied. What does it mean that in one region two people of different races/ethnicities have a certain probability of meeting? That question is ultimately the purpose of the study, since an index can't stand alone to amorphous end.

As a personal value judgment, diversity is to be celebrated, yeah definitely. I only suggested the study of economic diversity because that would offer an inarguably informative, material finding--not least for C-D purposes. If people in a region of two different economic classes are often found meeting at random then one can assume that certain, some or all economic classes are well settled there, setting any value judgments about livability aside (but incidentally correlating to racial/ethnic diversity too). I Am American And So Can You!

ETA: I don't mean to dismiss the analysis or suggest you need to develop the one I offered. My only point is that meaningfulness is in application, not in itself.

Last edited by Bunjee; 01-15-2010 at 04:05 PM..

01-18-2010, 10:53 AM
 Location: Orange County, CA 1,747 posts, read 1,834,605 times Reputation: 806
Quote:
 Originally Posted by RudeBoy21 You know the funny thing is everyone is on this diversity thing when alot of people dont even embrace other cultures. You never see a group of people hanging out and everyone is of a different race. Indians mostly hang wit indians Mexicans are usually around mexicans. chinese people are around chinese people. blacks hang wit majority blacks. white with majority white. My step mother is Japanese and I always get looked at crazy when I am with her. When I tell people my step mother is japanese there always shocked, I guess because I am black and is really not common you see black men dating japanese women . This is just from my observation....
So, so true. Even in more "open-minded" areas such as colleges and universities, people tend to self-segregate into their own races and (in the case of Asians) their particular nationality.

08-31-2010, 11:20 AM
 42 posts, read 58,805 times Reputation: 31
Quote:
 Originally Posted by RussianIvanov The truth is that most people do not know the difference between any of the Hispanic countries. It is not a place many people go to, it is not a place many people care about, and much of it is like 3rd world.
Most people dont know much about eastern europe either,most of it is 3rd world too.

09-01-2010, 09:09 AM
 Location: South Beach and DT Raleigh 11,477 posts, read 17,584,483 times Reputation: 10586
I don't know if this has been mentioned yet or not and I don't feel like reading 19 pages of posts. So, I'll say it the first time or perhaps repeat someone else's post.

In Miami, it would be interesting to see how the diversity index plays out over the entire metro geography. I highly suspect that the index goes down the further north you are from the core of Miami proper. Likewise, the index is probably highest immediately surrounding the core of Miami.
There's a local joke that one needs to take his/her passport when travelling to Broward or Palm Beach Counties from MiamiDade.
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