A new project mapping 2010 U.S. census data about race provides a colorful image of housing patterns across the nation and here in Evanston.

The racial dot map developed by demographic researcher Dustin Cable at University of Virginia’s Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service relies on data publicly available through the National Historical Geographic Information System.

On the map each dot represents one person. Zoom out to show the whole nation and — because the individual dots are no longer visible — many urban areas look like a blend of purple and teal.

Zoom in and patterns of clustering by race become clearly visible.

The Atlantic Cities website has close up maps from the project of other metro areas.

Top: Evanston and nearby suburbs. Above: The Chicago metro area.

The map, of course only captures one point in time. The Atlantic reports in its September issue data showing that racial segregation has generally declined across America in the last 40 years.

And there is evidence that pattern has held true in Evanston as well.

But The Atlantic also reports that some low income neighborhoods in some major cities are becoming more, not less segregated, with a variety of adverse consequences.

Other sources for mapping Evanston demographic data

PolicyMap.com (registration required)

The New York Times Mapping America Project (2005-2009 American Community Survey data)

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. Very surprising

    I find it very hard to tell the Hispanic areas—but it has often been said that they are scattered.  Though people  have guessed Chicago Ave.. to Elmwood from Oakton to Dempster and also south west Evanston.

    What is most surprising is what 'looks like' a very large Asian population—certainly much more than the schools [esp. not breaking out Asian test scores] and publication quote.  Maybe it is just the colors and overlay of colors but the 'red' does stand out.

    1. The Asian population in the

      The Asian population in the areas around NU is likely due to the Asian student enrollment at NU.

  2. At the level one can zoom in,

    At the level one can zoom in, the red is hard to tell apart from brown, especially with orange interspersed. You almost wish you could select color by color to see the concentrations…

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