This new report on diversity in America finds that almost all communities—whether large immigrant gateways or small towns in the nation's heartland—have grown more diverse.
During the last three decades, the United States has become more racially and ethnically diverse. We examine this trend at the local level, where the consequences of increased diversity for the economy, education, and politics regularly prompt debate, if not rancor. Decennial census and ACS data spanning the 1980-2010 period allow us to determine (a) the pervasiveness of diversity across America, focusing on metropolitan, micropolitan, and rural areas and places, and (b) the community characteristics that correlate with diversity.
We find that almost all communities—whether large immigrant gateways or small towns in the nation's heartland—have grown more diverse. However, the data show a wide range of diversity profiles, from predominantly white communities (a shrinking number) to minority-majority and no-majority ones (an increasing number). The pace of local diversity gains, as well as shifts in
racial-ethnic composition, has similarly varied.