New Jersey Neighborhood Diversity Explorer

Use the map below to explore the diversity of all neighborhoods in New Jersey. 

How to Use the Map: 

Hover over a particular neighborhood to discover its Diversity Index Score. Click on a neighborhood to see the percentage each racial or ethnic group comprises.

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Notes and Methods: 

The map provides a snapshot of the current level of diversity in each neighborhood in the State of New Jersey by displaying its Diversity Index Score. The Diversity Index measures the evenness or unevenness of the distribution of racial and ethnic population groups in a particular geography and represents the probability that two randomly chosen individuals in the same area will be from different racial/ethnic groups. The Diversity Index ranges from 0 to 87.5. The higher a county’s Diversity Index, the more likely it is that people who live in that county will be from different racial and ethnic groups. Homogeneous neighborhoods can be thought of as "pockets" of  individual racial or ethnic groups, limiting residents' exposure to and interaction with different groups. 

Homogenous neighborhoods could coincide with discriminatory housing policies, other systematic social and economic barriers, or behavioral patterns and could be areas of concentrated poverty, underperforming schools, poor housing, and poor health. However, homogenous neighborhoods could also signify areas of concentrated wealth, high-performing schools, and exclusionary housing.

Data used in this analysis comes from the 2009-2013 5-year American Community Survey. The Diversity Index is calculated by squaring each racial/ethnic group’s share of the total population, summing the result, and then subtracting the answer from 1. We then multiplied the result by 100 to arrive at a number; however, it can be left as a percentage as well. Using our method, the Countywide Diversity Index of a county that is 80 percent white and 20 percent black would be (1-(.8^2 + .2^2)) * 100, or 40.0. Analyzing the eight exhaustive (they all add up to 100 percent of the population) and mutually exclusive (non-overlapping) racial and ethnic classifications listed in the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, the lowest possible Diversity Index is 0. This outcome is what you get if everyone in the same geography is the same race/ethnicity. The highest possible Diversity Index is 87.5, which is what you get if the population is divided exactly evenly between the eight groups.

For more background on diversity and integration, please visit our Map of the Week webpage.