Ever heard the tidbit about New Jersey being the most racially and ethnically diverse state in the nation?i This observation is commonly thrown around in New Jersey, generally as an unquestionable fact. But how diverse, actually, is New Jersey? In this series of posts, we will explore this question, particularly examining the diversity of northern New Jersey and the immediate Newark region, since it is typically touted as the most diverse region in the state.
iAmerican Conference on Diversity, Initiative for Regional and Community Transformation, Leadership New Jersey, & New Jersey Public Policy Research Institute. New Jersey: A Statewide View of Diversity. September 20, 2007.
Map of the Week:
November 16, 2015 - December 1, 2015
Ever heard the tidbit about New Jersey being the most racially and ethnically diverse state in the nation?[i] This observation is commonly thrown around in New Jersey, generally as an unquestionable fact. But how diverse, actually, is New Jersey? We wanted to explore this question and particularly examine the diversity of northern New Jersey and the immediate Newark region, since it is typically touted as the most diverse region in the state.
In this post, we will explore the concept of neighborhood diversity, or the distribution of racial and ethnic groups across neighborhoods within counties. Even though counties can be extremely diverse, neighborhoods within each county are often times more homogenous.
To measure diversity of neighborhoods within counties, we are using the same approach we used to calculate Diversity Indexes of counties, only here we are calculating the Diversity Indexes of neighborhoods. We then took the average of the Diversity Index of all a county’s neighborhoods to arrive with an Average Neighborhood Diversity Index Score for each county. This index will help us understand the diversity of the average neighborhood within each county.
By our calculations, Hudson County’s neighborhoods are the most diverse in the state, with an Average Neighborhood Diversity Index Score of 49.29. Even though it has the second-highest Countywide Diversity Index Score in the state, Essex County’s Average Neighborhood Diversity Index Score of 37.78 means, on average, its neighborhoods are much less diverse than neighborhoods in Hudson County. In fact, Essex County only ranks 10th out of 21 counties, in terms of average neighborhood diversity.
Remembering that the Diversity Index represents the probability that two randomly chosen individuals from the same area will be from different racial/ethnic groups, we can interpret these results to mean there is nearly a one-in-two (50 percent) chance that two randomly chosen individuals from the average Hudson County neighborhood will be from different racial or ethnic groups while there is only a 38 percent chance of this happening in the average Essex County neighborhood. This also means it is 30 percent more likely in Hudson County than in Essex County that two randomly chosen individuals from the average neighborhood will be from two different groups. That is a difference that is hard to overlook.
Post 1.3: December 1, 2015: