Measuring Diversity: Analysis Using the US Census Racial and Ethnic Diversity Index

David Corliss Speaker
GM OnStar Insurance
Sunday, Aug 6: 2:30 PM - 2:55 PM
Invited Paper Session 
Metro Toronto Convention Centre 
The US Census Bureau's Diversity Index is based on the likelihood that two randomly selected individuals in a given geography are from different race and ethnic groups. These data are available at the state and county level for 2010 and 2020. This presentation introduces the US Census Diversity Index and examples of analysis using it. An important limitation in the available data is illustrated in a case study from the Detroit Metropolitan area. The Diversity Index for Wayne County, Michigan, which includes the city of Detroit, indicates a high level of racial diversity. However, applying the methodology of the US Census Diversity Index to the city of Detroit and certain inner suburbs in comparison to the remainder of Wayne County, the Detroit area is found to be one of the least diverse and most racially segregated areas in the United States. In this way, applying the methodology of the US Census Diversity Index to metropolitan areas allows for direct analysis of implicit, de facto segregation. An outline is provided to assist local ASA chapters to host a hackathon to use the Diversity Index to analyze racial and ethnic diversity in their area.