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|
Five largest Minnesota cities
|City||2000 Index||2010 Index|
Five largest Minnesota school districts
|District||2000 Index||2010 Index|
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.