People are surprised to hear about Anchorage's diversity. The school district regularly throws out the fact that over 100 different languages are spoken in the homes of their students. But last week the Anchorage Daily News published an article on University of Alaska Anchorage sociologist Chad Ferrel's work showing that the three most diverse census tracts in the US are in Anchorage.
"As of 2010, Anchorage's Mountain View neighborhood is the most diverse census tract in the entire U.S. In fact, three of the top 10 most diverse are in Anchorage, followed mostly by a handful from the borough of Queens in New York.
Based on the index, Anchorage Census Tract 6 (Mountain View) scores 96.3 out of a possible 100 in its diversity. The other two top census tracts in Anchorage, Tract 9.01 and Tract 8.01, are roughly northeast neighborhoods -- bounded by Ingra Street on the west, Boniface Parkway on the east, Debarr Road on the south, and Glenn Highway on the north."
|image from Anchorage Daily News|
The Diversity Index shows the likelihood that two persons chosen at random from the same area, belong to different race or ethnic groups. The index ranges from 0 (no diversity) to 100 (complete diversity). The diversity score for the entire United States in 2010 is 60. This data variable is included in Esri’s Updated Demographics (2010/2015).
This is part of an ongoing series of articles by former ADN reporter Kathleen McCoy who now works at the University of Alaska Anchorage. She's been highlighting different UAA faculty and their research. The whole article is worth reading. Here's a bit more:
A chief reason why Mountain View ranks as so diverse may not seem intuitive at first. Yes, people from around the world live there. But it scores so high because such a significant percentage of whites also live there,
"A key thing to remember is that white people contribute to the diversity of a neighborhood," Farrell said. Many other high-diversity tracts in the U.S. lack a white presence.
Alaska's other natural diversity driver is the relative size of its Alaska Native population, sending it to the front of the demographic charts over and over.
Taking diversity analysis to the neighborhood level is more revealing than looking at it citywide, Farrell explains. A community may have all the various ethnic groups living within it, but if they don't share neighborhoods, the community is far less diverse that it looks at first glance.