308,745,538. That’s the number of dots on this map. One for every person in America.
They show both population density and race. Caucasians are in blue, blacks in green, hispanics in orange, Asians in red; other races are in brown. They were created by Dustin Cable, a senior research associate at the Weldon Cooper Center at the University of Virginia.
“You can actually waste a couple of hours of your day just playing around with it,” he jokes in the video here.
You first notice how much of America is stacked on the East Coast. The black-and-white maps are much darker to the righthand side. Most of the rest is blank by comparison.
The color-coded racial maps are most interesting close up. See, for example, the New York-New Jersey one. You begin to see a definite skew to the neighborhoods. Manhattan, for example, is mostly caucasian blue, until it reaches Chinatown, where it turns red.
Cable used data from the 2010 U.S. Census, plotting each person’s location using Google Maps. All of the code is available for free here. (Andrew Whitby, an economist, mapped the U.K. using the same code here).
There have been other race maps before, no doubt, but probably none as fine grained as this. Cable’s maps reveal the complex density and racial patterns of the country, including its unresolved issues of segregation.