Thursday, April 14, 2022

The New Racial Dot Maps of America


The University of Virginia's Racial Dot Map of America has been taken off-line. After 9 years the popular interactive map, visualizing the distribution of race and ethnicity in the US, has finally come to an end. 

In a statement announcing the map's removal the Demographics Research Group at the University of Virginia stated that there are several reasons why the map has now been ended.Chief among these reasons is that the map is now out of date. The Racial Dot Map used data from the 2010 census. The release of the 2020 census data means that the map no longer provides the most accurate story of race in America. Unfortunately the university says that a new map is currently "beyond our organization’s financial and personnel resources."

However there is no need to despair as there are alternative racial dot maps available. Since the release of data from the 2020 census a number of new racial dot maps have been released.

CNN has used the 2020 census data to create their own racial dot map of America. The interactive map in Race and ethnicity across the nation uses colored dots to visualize the population density and racial mix of every neighborhood in the country. Each colored dot on CNN's map represents 150 people from a particular race or ethnic group. The data is mapped to the census tract level and the locations of the dots are randomized within each tract.

Ben Schmidt's All of US is a racial dot map which allows you to compare population data from the 2020 and 2010 US censuses.Zoom in close on this 'dot' map and the colored dots even become Wee People

All of US allows you to compare how the population density and racial mix of neighborhoods has changed over the last decade, since the 2010 census. If you switch between the 2010 and 2020 census data you can see how the racial mix and population densities have changed at the neighborhood level.All of US also includes a number of interesting base map options. For example you can view the 2020 census data overlaid on top of redlining maps from the 1930s. This allows you to see which racial groups now mostly live in neighborhoods which were deemed at risk for lending purposes by the Home Owners' Loan Corporation.

Esri's Race and Ethnicity in the US by Dot Density also uses the 2020 census to visualize the racial distribution of the U.S. population. On Esri's map each colored dot equals 24 people. 

The University of Virginia's Racial Dot Map of America was also the inspiration for a number of other dot maps visualizing the racial distribution of populations in other countries.

The Racial Dot of Brazil is a Google Map showing the racial distribution of the Brazilian population. Each dot on this map represents one Brazilian. There are over 190 million dots on the map, with each dot colored to show the person's race.

Mapping South Africa with Dot Distribution shows the racial distribution of the population across South Africa and also the first languages spoken by every citizen. This map is based on data from the 2011 South African census.

1 comment:

akreider said...

I created It's a raster tile map, not a dot map. But I feel that tiles are a great way of visualizing race (and income) in the United States. It also has a spatial analysis tool (what are the demographics for a x mile radius from a point, or set of points), map tile layers that you can use for your own map, an API, and I just added a fast method to switch between 2010 and 2020 so you can visualize changes in your city.