Development, News

New Interactive Map Illustrates Segregation at N’hood Level, Including Rainier Valley

In the first analysis of new 2005-2009 Census Block Group data, Remapping Debate has developed an interactive map illustrating segregation right down to the city block level, revealing some otherwise hidden truths not necessarily apparent in the larger geographic areas represented by Census Tracts:

The new maps, available here, highlight areas that remain ultra-white, as well as areas that are disproportionately African-American or Latino or both.

For the map that looks at African-American population, one is able to identify those Census Block Groups that have zero African-Americans, less than 1.0 percent, from 1.0 percent to less than 2.0 percent, and from 2.0 percent to less than 3.0 percent. One can also see those Census Blocks Groups that are 50 percent African-American or more.

In other words, the areas highlighted are those that are have an African-American population no more than one quarter the national population of African-Americans, or an African-American population that is more than four times the national percentage of African-Americans. Go to the maps.

For instance, Map A (left) illustrates what appears to be a relatively diverse Puget Sound region (ironically represented in white) as compared to other areas of the state which are almost exclusively white (represented in red). However, what it doesn’t show is how small an area that so-called diversity is concentrated, which is significantly more apparent in Map B (below center).

Digging even deeper with Map C (above right), which is composed of Seattle zip codes 98118 and 98144, also known as the Rainier Valley, one can see that south-end neighborhoods like Mt. Baker and Seward Park are predominantly white, with a small population (1 to 2 percent represented in pink) of blacks father south on Lake Washington, while Hillman City, Othello and Rainier Beach are more than 50 percent black (represented in gray).

Indeed, one of the key data findings here is that 75 percent of African-Americans in the United States live in only 16 percent of the country’s Census Block Groups.

Ed’s note: To clarify, Remapping Debate has released three interactive maps. The first map looks at African-American populations, the second at Hispanic populations and the third map shows demographic combinations in Census Block Groups that have less than 3.0 percent African-Americans and less than 7.0 percent Latinos, as well as those that have either African-American or Latino population of 50 percent or more.

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12 comments on “New Interactive Map Illustrates Segregation at N’hood Level, Including Rainier Valley

  1. Just great – now overlay crime stats, graduation rates, kid delinquencies, education levels, parental involvement in education, religious attendance, take-home pay, business tax receipts, home-ownership, section 8 participation, gang activity, illegal drug crime, and general community involvement….will there be any correlations? What did my hero MLK say? Something about judging by character?

  2. Whoever wrote this article seems to think that if you’re not black then you must be white. There are several census block groups that are predominantly Asian in 98188 and 98144. He just looks at a map and thinks that because there’s not a lot of blacks that it must be a white neighborhood.

  3. Hi Wes,

    Thanks for your feedback. Just to clarify, Remapping Debate released just three maps. The first map looks at African-American populations, the second at Hispanic populations and the third map shows demographic combinations in Census Block Groups that have less than 3.0 percent African-Americans and less than 7.0 percent Latinos, as well as those that have either African-American or Latino population of 50 percent or more. That’s what this article is reporting on.

    Best,
    Amber Campbell
    Editor/Publisher

  4. I think that this is the most disjointed attempt at rabble rousing that I have ever seen. For the Census Block Group for Blacks display, the colors change for 0%, <1%, 2 to <3%, and then a real kicker 3% to 50%, and %50% or more.

    Of what use is a map that shows such a great disparage.

    Why is the Hispanic display map 0%, <3%, 3% to <5%, 5% to <7%, and then another real kicker 7% to 50%, and %50% or more. Why don't they use the same percentages for all? The mix of Black and Hispanic display uses the same display characteristics as the Hispanic display.

    As attributed to Benjamin Disraeli, "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damn lies, and statistics." This representation is one.

  5. I’m sure everyone here would be happy to see this data shown more clearly but for now this is the best- if not only – place you can see any of it.

  6. Tim,
    What part of the underlying information is incorrect? If you insinuation that the information is a lie, it would be beneficial to all concerned if you could provide the correct information and cite your sources. I believe these maps utilize census information so do you believe that the census is a lie?
    Thanks,
    Tom T

  7. I think I see what Tim is saying, the disparities between data sets give an inaccurate representation of the diversity of the neighborhood. The weird values (3-7, 7-50) seem to be employed solely to make the viewer say “Gee I can’t believe how segregated we are!” . If the data sets were evenly distributed (1-10,11-20,21-30, etc…) we would see much more integrated populations.

    So yeah, this map is preposterous. I’m going to go with Tim and Disraeli on this one.

  8. what is a ‘census block group’ unit of measurement?
    >> a minimum of 250 units and a maximum of 550 units per block group. Block groups usually hold 600 to 3,000 people. Their boundaries never cross county or census tract boundaries, but they can cross the boundaries of county subdivisions, urban areas, voting districts, congressional districts, and tribal areas.<<
    http://www.cubitplanning.com/data/census-block-groups

    who are "Remapping Debate"?
    an agenda driven project of the Anti-Discrimination Center
    http://www.cjr.org/the_news_frontier/launch_pad.php
    http://remappingdebate.org/map-data-tool/mapping-and-analysis-new-data-documents-still-segregated-america-0

    agree, leaving out Asians makes this map invalid for our Rainier Valley

  9. You had to know it was a lie with the claim of Eastern Washington being almost entirely made up of white people. Clearly whoever wrote that has never been there.

  10. Thanks for the site Tim. Given that it is hitting the same data it has neither more or less truth or value. In actually, using all the intermediate levels clouds the question of segregation in Seattle.

    There will always be variations between neighborhoods. What we should be aware of is when things go outside the normal range of variation. Typically two standard deviations capture 95% of the variation (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/68-95-99.7_rule). When things go outside this 95th percentile is when eyebrows should be raised.

    So Seattle is 75.3% white, 11.2% Asian American, 10.1% black,1.4% Native American and 2.0% Other (http://www.city-data.com/world-cities/Seattle.html).

    I believe the Remapping Project used the groupings they did so that they could clearly show when there was variation beyond the normal range. While the site you shared allows us to draw a map that may look more gradual in actuality it hides the underlying reality.

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