Race and ethnicity: New York City

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I was astounded by Bill Rankin's map of Chicago's racial and ethnic divides and wanted to see what other cities looked like mapped the same way. To match his map, Red is White, Blue is Black, Green is Asian, Orange is Hispanic, Gray is Other, and each dot is 25 people. Data from Census 2000. Base map © OpenStreetMap, CC-BY-SA

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  1. lexyperson 42 months ago | reply

    Holy crap! I knew there was a major difference between 96th street and 100th street, but look at that divide! That's astounding.

  2. Eric Fischer 42 months ago | reply

    Replaced with new image that represents the shapes of census blocks accurately.

  3. nadjalazansky 42 months ago | reply

    Have you done other decades? It would be really interesting to see before Ed Koch became mayor who sold the City to developers, who in turn ran all the low income people out of town many of whom were people of color. That was in the 1980s. The Upper West Side was a very different color then!

  4. Eric Fischer 42 months ago | reply

    I haven't done other decades yet, but would like to do a series when the 2010 tabulations are released.

  5. lefouratt 42 months ago | reply

    Eric-
    Is there a way we can contact you about using one of your images for a project?

    Laura

  6. Eric Fischer 42 months ago | reply

    I sent you a Flickr Mail message.

  7. LOUDSPEAKER FILMS 42 months ago | reply

    Hi Eric-
    I might be interested in using your maps in an indie documentary film I'm making - can you email me at kamis@loudspeakerfilms.com so i can tell you more?

  8. 0000000001 41 months ago | reply

    Interesting but its premise is still problematic, the mythology of ‘race’.

    No one can scientifically define what ‘race’ means,
    While scientists use the concept of race to make practical distinctions among fuzzy sets of traits, the scientific community feels that the idea of race is often used by the general public[6] in a naïve[7] or simplistic way, erroneously designating wholly discrete types of individuals. Among humans, race has no cladistic significance—all people belong to the same hominid subspecies, Homo sapiens sapiens.[8][9] Regardless of the extent to which race exists, the word "race" is problematic and may carry negative connotations.[10] Social conceptions and groupings of races vary over time, involving folk taxonomies[11][12][13] that define essential types of individuals based on perceived sets of traits. Scientists consider biological essentialism obsolete,[14] and generally discourage racial explanations for collective differentiation in both physical and behavioral traits.[7][15]
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Race_(classification_of_humans)

    It ain’t science its social stigma. So in other words when we talk of ‘races’ we should say what we mean, that is skin colour.

    It doesn’t mean that people’s skin colour doesn’t matter, unfortunately the ‘race’ mythology is perpetrated extensively throughout contemporary culture as an identity and preconceptive tool to attribute behaviours, traits, an ‘other’ etc.

    The mapping is super interesting, it just should be labelled ‘skin colour’ not ‘race’.

    a.

  9. Ben Fleury-Steiner 38 months ago | reply

    These are remarkable. I would absolutely love to see one for Wilmington, Delaware. It's a small city but experienced one of the longest race riots in 1968. However, racial segregation in the city is kept relatively secret in local politics. I teach at the University of Delaware and a map like this would be very useful for my students but also for presentations I give on race issues in the city.

    Many thanks for these incredible maps!

  10. Eric Fischer 38 months ago | reply

    OK, I can do one for Wilmington, but I think I should probably wait until the rest of the 2010 census data is released before I do any more based on data that is 10 years out of date.

  11. Eric Fischer 37 months ago | reply

    Updated for Census 2010:

  12. kidshaman 29 months ago | reply

    Were the neighborhood areas added as tags to the photo, manually, or did you upload those somehow?

  13. Eric Fischer 29 months ago | reply

    Other people tagged the neighborhoods.

  14. hellofromm 18 months ago | reply

    This is great! How do you prefer to be acknowledged if I use this in a work presentation? I can certainly include your name and URL in the acknowledgement page. Does this suffice?

  15. DaveWilson 17 months ago | reply

    Great work! I've recently put something similar together for major South African cities, showing the legacy of apartheid on racial divides: datalens.org/post/35117601723/mapping-south-africa-racial...

  16. mattwa1sh 17 months ago | reply

    Hey I think you have a lot of Cypress Hills listed as Woodhaven. Cypress Hills is technically East New York, though it's demographically more look Woodhaven.

  17. pattyplano 8 months ago | reply

    Hi Eric. My husband saw this map online and loved it! I wanted to buy him a print of this map. Do you sell prints or is there a way I could make/buy one with your assistance? Thanks!

  18. bluemoon2626 3 months ago | reply

    Interesting, but there is a lot of overlap in these very broad, generalizing categories. How do you decide who is "Black", who is "White" and who is "Other"? Does red mean only "Non-Hispanic Whites"? Does blue mean only "Non-Hispanic Blacks"? Is a black Puerto Rican, Dominican or Cuban included in blue or orange? Is a white Argentinian, Mexican, or Paraguayan included in red or orange?

    I am part Sicilian in ancestry, which includes, among other things, Italian, Greek, Arab, Norman and Spanish. There are perhaps hundreds of thousands of people of Sicilian ancestry in New York City and we often get mistaken for Hispanic, Middle Eastern or other backgrounds. How do you classify them?

    Needless to say, race and ethnicity are touchy, sensitive issues and it gets messy when we categorize with broad, sweeping labels.

  19. Eric Fischer 3 months ago | reply

    The categories are self-reported on the Census forms. For purposes of this map, yes, the colors other than the one for Hispanic are non-Hispanic black, non-Hispanic white, etc.

  20. bluemoon2626 5 weeks ago | reply

    Gracias, Eric. Nonetheless, racial and ethnic categorization can get complicated, if you know what I mean. It's nice that you included a 2010 one, as well. I found one for Detroit here: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:FischerDetroit2010Census.png

    Did you do that one, as well?

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