Population Maps - Race and Population

Maps make boring statistics come alive!

I created the following maps using ArcMap (a commercial GIS program) and freely available downloaded Census data. It's not the sort of thing that anyone can do - ArcMap is a relatively involved program and combing through the Summary File data requires moderately advanced Microsoft Access skills.

With a little bit of invested time in learning the system, however, the American Fact Finder website can help the lay person create custom maps from the same data using only a web browser!

The following maps are available for download in pdf form at the bottom of this article.

Note that the map above is total population not population density. The large census tracts have a high total population spread out over a much larger area.

Over time, the Census Bureau has become much more nuanced about the ways it collects and cross-tabulates data. Race and ethnicity are one of the trickiest issues since they are self-reported based on personal identification. People are now allowed to identify multiple races, layered on top of Hispanic/Latino ethnicity. For example a person with one black parent from Equador and one white parent from Des Moines could respond as White and Black/African American in the race category as well as Hispanic/Latino. The cross-tabulations become quite complex but allow for a very fine degree of analysis. For the purposes of simplicity, I opted to show population who selected one race alone for the following maps.

Map - Total Population (pdf)90.88 KB
Map - Percent Asian (pdf)89.7 KB
Map - Percent Black/African American (pdf)90.54 KB
Map - Percent Hispanic/Latino (pdf)90.84 KB
Map - Percent White (pdf)90.65 KB


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