Capitol Hill’s most racially diverse blocks — and where it pales in comparison to the CD

(Images: The Seattle Times)

(Images: The Seattle Times)

The unholy alliance of the Seattle Times and a consumer credit reporting company produces some pretty interesting insights about the city. In its latest dip into the Experian datasets, the Times has produced a look at how Seattle’s neighborhood’s weigh in as measured by a popular diversity index. The findings: Seattle is not very diverse but some of our neighborhoods — including the core of the Central District — are *almost* as racially mixed as Chicago, New York or Oakland:

fyiguy-diversity-cIn fact, Seattle’s diversity is also lower than the nation’s as a whole. The diversity index for the United States is 56.

But that isn’t the end of the story. Even though Seattle, overall, doesn’t have a high degree of diversity, if you focus on its neighborhoods, a different picture emerges.

I calculated the diversity index for each of Seattle’s 483 “block groups” – a small census geography, typically containing fewer than 2,000 people.

As you can see, there is a wide range of diversity among these small sections of Seattle. Many have a high degree of diversity, and one-third are more diverse than the U.S. average score, 56.

The highest diversity in Seattle runs from the Central District down through Rainier Valley, and in the Delridge and White Center sections of West Seattle. There is also above-average diversity in Northgate, around the University District, and in some downtown neighborhoods.

North of E Madison, Capitol Hill has produced some of the least racially diverse streets in the city. On Twitter, the Seattle Times reporter responsible for the analysis noted a high correlation with income in the low diversity areas indicating the affordability factor for housing prices and rents could be an important factor in the measure. You can also look at some of the history of land use and policy in the central neighborhoods to understand how things like segregation and redlining have been shaped Seattle beyond demographic trends.

It’s worth looking at some of our lightest purple areas — to use the Seattle Times’s color scale — and think about what we can do to help orange it up.

12 thoughts on “Capitol Hill’s most racially diverse blocks — and where it pales in comparison to the CD

  1. The first week I moved to Capitol Hill a few years ago, I took a stroll on a hot summer day and saw all the folks laying on the grass, getting some sun, and the first thing I thought was “Man, it’s REALLY white up here.”

  2. There is no such thing as “Diversity”, when is an area diverse or not diverse, give a statistical definition.

    I live on C.Hill, there are gay people, straight people, bi people, republicans, anarchists, felons, moslems, christians and atheists…does that make it more diverse than White Center/Delridge? I don’t really care….

    Of course we can just continue our obsession with race..that does people a lot of good.

    • Yeah, diversity has many spectra. When banana republic shows a gay couple in an ad, but the couple is white, able, and thin (rich), how much have we advanced?

      • What’s wrong with that? It’s called targeted advertising…I’m sure you have seen black male models in fashionable clothing or gasp mixed couples.

        As for thin being rich? Fat people do not sell clothes unless your really going for fat people that wish to remain fat, advertising is about aspiration…underarmour has grown exponentially…I doubt very much most of the men and women buying their gear have 6 or 8 pack abs…but they dream too…

        Very few people dream to be obese, so why spend a few million on the campaign.

      • What an offensive reply ! For those of us who are GLBT of all colors, it is a BIG step to be shown in mainstream ads and graphics. Maybe if you and your people had never been shown at all during almost all of your life, you’d realize how important this is to US !

      • And why not? All those big 3-4 story houses near volunteer park and not a single republican? You can call bs but I think I could find republicans faster.

  3. This seems kinda gerry-mandered and misleading to me. Though we may be whiter overall, we’re pretty peppered throughout. Take a look at the interactive census data map published by NYTimes in 2010: http://projects.nytimes.com/census/2010/map?ref=us , where you can see race by household. You can draw the race lines in New York and Chicago with a paper’s edge in every neighborhood. Compared to pretty much every city on and above our population level, we’re not segregated.