Atlanta Race Map (circa 2000)

As the story goes, Eric Fisher was so fascinated by cartographer Bill Rankin’s race map of Chicago, that he created one for each of the top 40 U.S. cities using 2000 census data.  According to Gawker, Rankin used the same method as Rankin; “one dot equals 25 people. The dots are then color-coded based on race: White is pink; Black is blue; Hispanic is orange, and Asian is green.”

While some of the denser urban cities, like New York City, reveal more dramatic patterns, Atlanta above is also quite interesting once you get your bearings.  The actual Flickr image might be of assistance, since a few people have already identified areas of the city (including Decatur) for you.

Buford Highway is probably the most obvious feature on the map above, with the strip of orange and green extending up Buford Highway and I-85 in the upper right corner of the map.  Decatur sits below that, along the red/blue divide of the CSX rail line.  White areas of the maps are often airports and train yards.  Hartsfield is quite noticeable in the lower half of the map.

It would certainly be interesting to see this same map again with 2010 data once it becomes available!

h/t: FMFats

11 thoughts on “Atlanta Race Map (circa 2000)”

  1. what would be really interesting is if this was done for all available census data and put into an animated image showing the changes over the years.

    1. That would be very interesting–white flight from cities, then minority flight, then white gentrification etc. I wonder if it would end up looking like a pot being stirred, as in Moynihan’s “melting pot”. And then there’s the question of whether we want the ultimate goal of neighborhoods to be a melting pot, given the importance of retaining one’s own culture, traditions, institutions, and identity which can get lost in the suburban homogeneity of TV-land America. Maybe we want to end up as a mosaic or salad rather than a homogenous molten lump. We’d want there to be lots of tiny clusters of dots of one color that are dispersed evenly with the clusters of other colors of dots. Wouldn’t it be great if Decatur had a tiny Chinatown and some Latino tiendas?

    1. I see an angel in the snow silhouette.

      Interesting that this graphic makes it appear that some of the most multi-integrated areas are in the suburbs–i.e. areas with all four race groups. Decatur shows some signs of black-white integration in 2000 but I’m sure it’s changed a lot. My guess is that Decatur shows more mixing of the blue and red dots compared to 2000 but less blue dots overall.

  2. This looks like a abstract pastel to me. I can’t make any sense of it. Is it online somewhere, with an underlying map and a code telling me which color represents what.

      1. That IS interesting. On that scale you can see lots of single dots that don’t show up hardly at all on the smaller scale maps. You see that many areas that look totally segregated on a small scale, actually show some minor, but evidently real (since each dot = 25 people) diversity, when examined more closely.

  3. Neat to see the greenish-orange streak extending to the northeast representing the Asian and Hispanic concentrations along Buford Hwy and up 85. I bet that’s even more clearly defined now.

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