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[dupe] The Racial Dot Map: One Dot per Person for the Entire U.S. (coopercenter.org)
61 points by draugadrotten on Nov 16, 2014 | hide | past | favorite | 16 comments

When looking at data like this, I'm always reminded of Schelling's model of residential segregation, which suggests that even a small preference for living near like people leads to high segregation in the global system.

Example: in this simulation, agents are willing to live in environments where only 30% of neighbors are like them: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dnffIS2EJ30

Another good explanation of it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dFl3Cfw12bo

I wonder if anyone has done a "reverse" model, taking in census data and trying to estimate a rough "Schelling threshold" -- like if all the dots started out randomly placed on the US, what percentage of "tolerance" would lead to the clustering we have in reality.

Very nice. Unfortunately, color-perception-deficient visitors will have trouble with the map. I personally can't tell the difference between the "Black" and "Hispanic" dots unless two relatively big blobs of them are right next to each other. The "Asian" and "Other" colors are similarly indistinct, but not as bad.

Agreed even for normal color perception :)

If you are interested in why racial segregation persists to such a high level (especially in the de-industrialized midwestern and rust belt cities) and the persistence of intractable racial disparities, I highly recommend Massey and Denton's American Apartheid. A bit old now, but still a very clear and deep understanding of segregation and its effects



I spent about a decade working for racial justice think tanks doing research and policy work around racial segregation and its connection to racial disparities, and it was always my go to book to explain to people why the work I was doing was important for racial justice.

Great map!

I go to school in St. Louis and think that it really shows what the situation is like. Here is a map I just created: http://i.imgur.com/uz9Pbhx.jpg

Red box - Forest Park (the big park in the middle of the city)

Green shape - Lambert International Airport (Ferguson is about a mile to the east)

Purple line - City limits -- you can clearly see that St. Louis County and St. Louis city have very different demographics.

Blue line - Imaginary line of segregation. Its a few block north of Forest Park, its not as clear on Google maps, but its very distinct on the dot map.

Also shows the correlation to slavery in the US as well http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/maps-reveal-slavery-ex...

I would be very interested to see this overlayed with the boundaries of some of the more oddly-shaped, gerrymandered districts.

I think this would be more intuitively understandable if they just took the skin color to represent the different races.

Does everyone take part in the US Census? If so, why, is there an incentive?

Answering US Census surveys is legally required, though nobody's been prosecuted for failing to do so in decades. If you don't respond to a survey, the bureau will send someone to the house to ask the survey questions in person. If nobody there will respond, then the agent/representative will record their own estimates for that household.

To add to what every other reply is telling you, I ignored the census form they mailed to my house. A month later, some guy stopped by and asked me the questions in person. People camping in semi-remote places and those living out of their cars/ blending into society are probably missed, but that is a small proportion of the population.

The incentive is that it determines your congressional representation and funding from federal gov't for all sorts of things such as education, welfare, etc. Not to mention, it is spelled out in the US consitition.


I don't know about the USA, but in some countries it's legally required.

If you don't respond, a census taker stops by for a visit.

Really interesting…and well done.

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