After 2040 hits, people of color will overtake whites as the majority population in the U.S. That dramatic demographic shift is taking place in and around metro regions, and to varying degrees. Which neighborhoods are diversifying? And where are they located within each metro? A new paper published online in Urban Studies introduces a fresh, visual framework for answering these questions.
In it, author Kyle Walker, an assistant professor of geography and director of the Center for Urban Studies at Texas Christian University, suggests tracking changes in neighborhood-level entropy (a measure of how evenly distributed the four major ethnic and racial groups—whites, Hispanics, blacks, and Asians—are within a Census tract) in relation to distance from the urban core. Walker calls the resulting graph a “diversity gradient.” Here’s how he describes the concept in his paper: