CINCINNATI -- Astrophysicist Tomasz Stepinski may seem like a fish out of water working elbow-to-elbow with social scientists in the University of Cincinnati’s geography department, but they’ve developed a whole new way of looking at the map.
Stepinski’s latest project tracks racial diversity across the United States down to the neighborhood in an intricately detailed, interactive map (that you can explore here for free).
“People don’t realize that the United States is a diverse country, but at the same time is still very segregated,” Stepinski told UC Magazine.
His research shows that although neighborhoods are becoming increasingly diverse, predominantly black neighborhoods are missing out on that diversification. He also noted that Asian and Hispanic people seem to be clustering together in pockets across the country.
Jeffrey Timberlake, UC associate professor of sociology, said the map could unlock data for researchers, journalists, political strategists and social services to determine which neighborhoods are underserved. It also would allow for studying change over time since it’ll be updated with future census data.
“When you look at a couple neighborhoods in Los Angeles, you see a big difference between 1990 and 2010 in the shrinking black population and the growth of the Latino population,” Timberlake said. “This is the kind of tool that could unlock a lot of research.”
Explore anywhere in the U.S. on the map here.