Sunday, February 28, 2016

Race in Thurston County by maps

Statistical Atlas, in a lot of ways, is something I've spent a lot of time pinning for. While the tool is very simply just overlaying public census data over a map, this is the kind of visualization that hasn't been freely available. And, it opens up (more easily) a broader discussion of how and where we live.

Take for example, race in Thurston County.

Thurston County is a pretty white place, but there are a few interesting features of this map. There are a couple of corners where whiteness is not a majority. One stretch of far Lacey, the area around the Nisqually reservation and small section near Grand Mound in the south:

The first hole in the whiteness map is explained by this map of hispanic populations (topping at 45 percent). The small area around Grand Mound is a plurality hispanic area:

This map on black population (topping out at 15.8 percent) shows another major theme. While the central part of urban Thurston County is pretty white, most minority populations are located in nearby neighborhoods of Tumwater or older portions of Lacey. Showing why possibly it was a really good idea to move the county's ethnic celebration to Lacey.

You see the same pattern here with the Asian map (topping at 18 percent), but instead of Tumwater, the westside and noticeably Cooper Point. You also have here an explanation of the second non-white majority area, with Asian being the plurality.

And, "other," which from a reading of the map, would probably mean Native American, given the deeper reds closer to the Nisqually Reservation (topping at 39.7 percent), which is the third non-white majority area.

These are fascinating maps. I was fairly surprised by how white this particular tract was in downtown Olympia. Well, not totally surprised. I suppose it does back up what I would've assumed had I thought about it for a few minutes. But almost 95 percent white was a surprising number.

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