Special Report

Most Diverse Mid-Size Cities

The United States has long prided itself as a melting pot country, and for good reason. According to the United Nations, as of 2015, about one in five of the world’s migrants lived in the U.S. 

In relation to the entire population, the share of foreign-born U.S. residents is modest compared to other immigrant-attracting countries like Canada and Australia. Also, the diversity of immigrants is relatively lower, with about one in four U.S. immigrants originating from neighboring Mexico, according to the Pew Research Center.

Still, the overall diversity of the American population, when considering race and ethnicity, is increasing. Nearly four out of 10 Americans identify with a race or ethnic group other than white, according to the Census Bureau. And the chance that two people chosen at random nationwide will be from different racial or ethnic groups has increased to 61.1% in 2020 from 54.9% in 2010.

While large metropolitan areas are generally considered more diverse than smaller cities, many smaller U.S. cities have become more diverse. U.S. News and World Report analyzed 2020 Census data for cities with populations over 300,000 and found that 70% of them were more racially diverse than a decade earlier. (These are the worst cities for Black Americans.)

To determine America’s most diverse mid-size cities, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed data on race and ethnicity from the U.S. Census Bureau.  Cities with between 150,000 and 450,000 residents were ranked based on the probability that two residents picked at random will be of different race or ethnicity. (These are the most segregated cities in America.)

The chances that two randomly selected people will be of different race or ethnicity in the cities on our list is at least 67%. Such cities include Rochester, New York; Tampa, Florida, and Garland, Texas. The chances of two randomly selected people in North Las Vegas (population 241,369) to be different by race or ethnicity is now over 70%.

In the No. 1 city, Oakland, California, the chances are nearly 77%. The Bay Area city is the largest on the list in terms of population. And based on recent Census data, about 28% of the population are white, 27% are Hispanic or Latino, nearly 24% are Black or African American, and over 15% are Asian.

Click here to see the most diverse mid-sized cities

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