Race and ethnicity: Chicago

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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

Steven Vance, jonvoss, opacity, and 104 other people added this photo to their favorites.

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  1. Eric Fischer 44 months ago | reply

    Thanks for pointing out those other maps. I've looked through that Flickr set before but somehow it didn't register with me at the time, maybe just because I have a harder time telling the colors apart in that version.

  2. Motobecane 44 months ago | reply

    Yours and Rankin's have eight times as many dots as well.

  3. Valsadie 44 months ago | reply

    If you've lived in Chicago for any length of time, you already knew what the reds and blues were...

  4. tambo tambo 44 months ago | reply

    This, as they say, figures. Combination of ethnicity, poverty , deprivation, ghettoisation etc. You really have some work to do (and so do we!)

  5. fake is the new real 44 months ago | reply

    My version was purposefully designed to be a companion to the Chicago Encyclopedia version. I was also introduced to the concept by the incomparable Bill Rankin.
    The entire set is great work. The dot-placement problem that occurs on Riker's Island exists here, too, for the Cook County Jail. (I used the dot density function included in ArcGIS, then manually moved dots off of the airport and open water.)

  6. Keith Ammann 44 months ago | reply

    Actually, not to blow my own horn or anything, but Rankin's dot map was inspired by a project I did with a group of eighth-graders in Wilmette, Ill. I told him about the project, in which students made thematic maps based on Census data, and he was kind enough to convert some of the students' maps into professionally drawn versions. It was Rankin's idea to use dots for the maps of density and ethnicity (we originally had gradations of color and stripes).

  7. hupajoob 44 months ago | reply

    Here's the same image with a better view of the roads and the towns mapped out.

  8. Disgruntled customer 44 months ago | reply

    Has there been a similar map, but using political parties? The closest I could find was North Carolina State University of Illinois.

  9. josef.richter 43 months ago | reply

    nice job. but why it's not white=white, black=black, asian=yellow and hispanic=brown?? this red/blue/orange/green combination makes absolutely no sense.

  10. feculent_fugue 43 months ago | reply

    Probably because that's not politically correct. Plus hispanic people can be any race (white, black, native american, etc) and asians are definitely not yellow-skinned. And come to think of it white and black are not accurate since white people are not white like paper or snow and are sort of a "cream" color and reddish pink when they are in the sun and black people are dark brown but not pitch black.

    To avoid all these problems, colors like red, blue, green, and orange have been assigned.

  11. Disgruntled customer 43 months ago | reply

    Check this out: Chicago Claims Most Dangerous U.S. Neighborhood: Study
    ... Chicago's United Center Park earned a No.1 rank in the top 25 Most Dangerous Neighborhoods in the United States, ...

    I could not find it on this map.

  12. Eric Fischer 43 months ago | reply

    You realize this is a map of race and ethnicity, not of crime, right? But the United Center is a little north of the "UIC/Medical Center" note that someone added.

  13. Disgruntled customer 43 months ago | reply

    Duh. I was just trying to make a correlation to other cultural/political issues. If I had the time and inclination, I would check out the other cities researched by Walletpop that you have mapped. Also, since I'm an NRA member, it would be interesting to see if banning guns (like Chicago) reduce crime. Or seeing a more detailed red/blue map for party affiliation. Or welfare recipients. Or... I hope you see my point that focusing on just race is pointless unless one expands to other criteria.
    Thanks for the neighborhood clarification.

  14. scrod 43 months ago | reply

    Actually, Kurt, attempting to correlate race to most of the things you mentioned would be pretty useless — unless, of course, your intent is to make insinuations that would be, by definition, racist.

    What would be more helpful would be correlating race to block-by-block public and private spending (both direct and in the form of tax incentives) on development, schools, police, grocery stores, etc. Then, any possible discrimination on the part of the city and developers would be made much more visible.

    Of course, you're still overlooking the most important correlating factor of all, which is geography. Even with no other variables, this map depicts very neatly-delineated patterns of segregation.

  15. Disgruntled customer 43 months ago | reply

    Oops. sorry, I was more like Politically Incorrect.

    Yes, tax incentives would be interesting. What kind of special interest "tax exempt" "non-profit" groups survive on taxpayer funded grants, for instance. What is ABLA Housing?

    Geography is a key element, agreed. Does coastal real estate have more value than bottom land?

  16. Eric Fischer 42 months ago | reply

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

  17. johnelis 41 months ago | reply

    Red is used to denote "Whites" under the now accepted cultural denotation of America divided between "Red States" - White mostly rural Conservative areas and "Blue States" - liberal, heavily non White urban dominated states.

    Blacks vote lib Dem - so they are "Blue" - Whites (even though Chicago Whites don't vote Conservative Republican" are denoted in Red.

  18. UkrVillage 40 months ago | reply

    Looks accurate to me.

  19. Eric Fischer 38 months ago | reply

    Updated for Census 2010:

  20. Jarkins76 18 months ago | reply

    So true. I guess what surprises me from the 2000 is that the west loop has changed drastically!

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