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How to measure Minnesota's diversity

Census data gives us the power to pick apart our community and look at individual racial and ethnic populations. What's a little more difficult is expressing in simple terms just how diverse or homogenous are our communities.

There's a trick for that, it's called the Diversity Index. The idea is simple, even if the calculation is a bit complicated (we've handled that part). Here's how its creators over at USA TODAY explain it: The Diversity Index (a number between zero and 100) "represents the probablility that two people chosen randomly from an area with have different racial or ethnic (Hispanic or non-Hispanic) backgrounds."

Put simply: A score of 45 means there is a 45 percent probability that two people will have different racial or ethnic (Hispanic or non-Hispanic) backgrounds.

To give you a point of reference, Minnesota has a Diversity Index of 31 (up from 22 in 2000).

To really get a feel for the new diversity in the state, check out the interactive map we've posted. OK, here goes...

Five largest Minnesota counties

County 2000 Index 2010 Index
Hennepin 37 47
Ramsey 42 52
Dakota 19 32
Anoka 14 27
Washington   
15 26

 

Five largest Minnesota cities

City 2000 Index 2010 Index
Minneapolis   
57 59
St. Paul 56 63
Rochester 26 36
Duluth 15 20
Bloomington 24 39

 

Five largest Minnesota school districts

District 2000 Index 2010 Index
Minneapolis   
57 59
St. Paul 56 63

Anoka
Hennepin

15 29

Rosemount
Apple Valley
Eagan

19 32
Osseo 33 52

Note: Many thanks to Anthony DeBarros and Paul Overberg at USA TODAY who, in partnership with Investigative Reporters and Editors, prepared the data files used to calculate Minnesota's Diversity Index scores.

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