Where we live, block by block
Mapping American diversity reveals not just a snapshot of today but the imprint of two and a half centuries of migration, conflict, and prosperity. Read the stories.
What these colors mean
Black or African American, non-Hispanic
American Indian or Native Alaskan
Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander
Claiming more than one race
Regions worth exploring
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Mexican Americans have long been one of the largest ethnic groups in the city, which is now nearly half Hispanic. Next
The community is concentrated in two areas divided by a strip of non-Hispanic white neighborhoods. Next
Coastal areas from Pacific Palisades to Palos Verdes Estates are mostly non-Hispanic white and affluent. Next
Historically black south-central L.A. has become more mixed, shared with the growing Hispanic population. Next
The thriving Koreatown, Little Tokyo, and Chinatown also illustrate L.A.’s multiculturalism. Next
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No ethnic or racial group constitutes a majority in Houston, making it one of the most diverse U.S. metropolises. Next
It has nearly doubled in population since 1990, and 93 percent of newcomers are non-white or Hispanic. Next
Loose zoning laws have kept rising land values in check, but a legacy of segregation still haunts Houston. Next
Patterns of failing schools, environmental hazards, and sub-standard infrastructure remain in many of its historically non-white neighborhoods. Next
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Blacks arriving from the South in the early 20th century’s great migration found affordable housing in neighborhoods such as the South Side. Next
This area was once home to immigrants from European countries like Ireland, Italy, and Poland. Next
What became historically black neighborhoods after the great migration remain black today, despite a 19 percent drop in Chicago’s black population since 2000, largely from gentrification. Next
Hispanic and white populations are increasing, but the Chinese population is growing the fastest, especially in Chicago’s vibrant Chinatown. Next
Nearly 65 percent of residents in Chinatown are foreign-born. Next
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The four major racial and ethnic groups each make up at least 10 percent of the populace but are mainly segregated in the city’s five boroughs. Next
Black communities in eastern Brooklyn and Queens continue to shrink as they migrate toward the South to look for more affordable housing. Next
Non-Hispanic whites make up the largest share of the population in Manhattan and Staten Island. Next
The Hispanic population has boomed, especially in the Bronx, where that ethnicity represents 52 percent of the populace. Next
The city is also now home to more than a million Asians of varied heritage; they’re one of every eight New Yorkers. Next
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Washington is one of the few cities where growth is being driven by whites—rather than by Latinos, Asians, or immigrants—as blacks move to the suburbs. Next
Southeast and Northeast remain predominantly black, while Northwest holds much of the District’s white population. Next
Hispanic residents make up 11 percent of the population, distributed mostly in Northwest and Northeast—many more live in the suburbs along the District’s northern border. Next
While over 4 percent of the city is Asian, most newcomers choose to take up residence in the suburbs of Maryland and Virginia. Next
Central D.C. and areas around the National Mall are dominated by businesses and government buildings, with few areas dedicated to housing. Next
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About 56.2 million acres, including remnants of ancestral lands, are reserved for Native American tribes forced to move by waves of new arrivals over four centuries.
Old New Spain
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Settled by Spain long before the U.S. was founded, New Mexico is the only part of the nation where many Hispanics report their ancestry as Spanish, not Mexican.
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Large numbers of immigrants fleeing the Mexican Revolution went to South Texas in the early 20th century. Next
Florida took in Cubans after the Cuban Revolution in the 1950s. Next
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Concentrated black populations in many cities came from the great migration that brought some 28 million blacks and whites from the South between 1910 and 1940. Next
Many Europeans settled in the North or Midwest, avoiding the South, where demand for labor was slow because of slavery and a weak economy after the Civil War. Next
Agriculture and Labor
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A large concentration of residents identify as Hispanic in California’s Central Valley and Washington’s Columbia River Valley. Both areas are major agricultural producers that employ many laborers.
About this project
EPluribus Unum—Out of Many, One. The traditional motto of the United States encompasses the hope that different peoples can unite as one nation. Every 10 years, mandated by the Constitution, the U.S. Census Bureau conducts a tally to keep track of the populace. It parcels the country into some 11 million units, many as small as a city block, and endeavors to record the ethnic or racial character of the people within.
Mapping this diversity reveals not just a snapshot of today but the imprint of two and a half centuries of migration, conflict, and prosperity.
This story is part of Diversity in America, a National Geographic series covering racial, ethnic, and religious groups and examining their changing roles in 21st-century life.
By Matthew W. Chwastyk, Kennedy Elliott, and Ryan Morris
Published October 9, 2018
Kelsey Nowakowski. Sources: Hamilton Lombard, University of Virginia Demographics Research Group; U.S. Census (2010); IPUMS National Historical Geographic Information System, University of Minnesota