With the grand opening of the Center for Civil and Human Rights just three weeks away (and a preview event this Thursday), it seems like an appropriate time to take a look at where Atlanta stands in terms of residential segregation/integration and how we compare with other cities. According to a University of Wisconsin study (warning: last revised in 2003), 8.8 percent of Atlantans lived on integrated blocks, compared to an average of 9.4 percent in other large U.S. cities. That percentage jumped to around 18 percent when the entire metro area was taken into consideration. But the easiest way to get a true, at-a-glance picture of racial distribution in Atlanta is with the detailed interactive map of the United States made by the University of Virginia's Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service. The map, based on the 2010 Census, displays 308,745,538 dots — one for each person in the country — and zooming in to Atlanta shows just how far we have to go.
In addition to racial divides, the placement of the dots also reveals Atlanta's sprawl, making it look as though ATL's map were painted in watercolor when several other cities were colored with marker.
· Racial Dot Map [University of Virginia]
· The Best Map Ever Made of America's Racial Segregation [Wired]
· Racial Integration in Urban America: A Block Level Analysis of African American and White Housing Patterns [University of Wisconsin]