Multi-American

How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

Do we live in the nation's most diverse city? It depends.

The skyline as seen from the Griffith Observatory, August 2010
The skyline as seen from the Griffith Observatory, August 2010 Photo by Chelsea Nicole Conner/Flickr (Creative Commons)

As it promotes its special quarterly issue highlighting Los Angeles, the magazine GOOD recently posted an interesting short piece that examines how diversity is measured - and where, depending on the metrics, Los Angeles places among other large U.S. cities.

From the piece:

If you look at the total number of minorities in an area, Los Angeles does come out on top. According to county-level data from the 2007 U.S. Census, Los Angeles County has more Hispanic residents (4.7 million), Asian residents (1.4 million), and Native American residents (146,500) than any other in the nation. But that’s largely because Los Angeles County has more people, period. L.A. County has 9.8 million residents, nearly twice that of Cook County, Illinois, the second largest.

Another method is to look at the percentage of minorities in an area. By this measure, according to the online data repository City-Data, New York is the most diverse major city, with only 35 percent of residents identifying as “white only,” followed by Dallas, Chicago, and Houston. However, City-Data’s figures don’t jibe with the 2005 to 2009 U.S. Census American Community Survey, which places the New York figure at 45.4, behind Chicago’s 41.9 percent.


And if you measure diversity by how many residents are foreign-born, the piece continues, then the winner would be Miami.

The post features the census-based map art of Eric Fischer. It also contains a reference to Kogi and the Korean taco, something that seems to be going around lately, with the multi-culti taco emerging as 21st-century L.A. metaphor.

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