Saturday, February 19, 2011

California may be our future, but Illinois is the present...

... which, given that they top the list among states in the worst financial shape in the country, isn't too comforting. What I'm referring to here, though, is racial composition, exclusively. The following table* ranks each state by its racial disparities with the US on the whole:

State
Variance
1. Illinois
4.1
2. New Jersey
10.3
3. New York
13.4
4. Connecticut
15.7
5. Florida
17.2
6. Virginia
17.9
7. Colorado
20.7
8. North Carolina
21.4
8. Delaware
21.4
10. Rhode Island
25.5
11. Arkansas
26.2
12. Nevada
27.1
13. Washington
27.2
14. Massachusetts
27.6
15. Michigan
27.8
16. Oklahoma
28.0
17. Kansas
30.3
18. South Carolina
30.7
19. Tennessee
30.8
20. Pennsylvania
31.4
21. Oregon
31.5
22. Alaska
32.8
23. Alabama
33.2
24. Utah
34.0
25. Missouri
34.1
26. Georgia
34.6
26. Ohio
34.6
28. Maryland
34.9
29. Indiana
35.4
30. Nebraska
37.1
31. Arizona
37.2
32. Louisiana
38.5
33. Wisconsin
39.1
34. Idaho
40.4
35. Minnesota
40.5
36. Texas
41.6
37. Kentucky
44.4
38. New Hampshire
45.5
39. Wyoming
45.7
40. Mississippi
48.6
41. Iowa
49.6
42. Montana
51.6
43. South Dakota
56.2
44. West Virginia
56.7
45. North Dakota
57.6
46. California
59.2
47. Maine
59.9
48. Vermont
60.0
49. New Mexico
75.6
50. District of Columbia
81.7
51. Hawaii
91.1

The nation's capital isn't at all representative, nor is our putative future, California. Instead, the Midwest's most upstanding, exemplary state, where the level of moral rectitude is matched only by the transparent, civic-mindedness that so accurately describes its political scene, is the veritable "real America" of today. Hawaii and New Mexico are leaders in the realm of the exotic, yet only one is celebrated for being so, while the other is perhaps the state Americans know, think, and care about the least. Why are Maine and West Virginia near the bottom of the list? They're overwhelmingly white, of course, while the nation they belong to no longer is.

* The variation index values are calculated by taking the population of each state that is non-Hispanic white, black, Hispanic, Asian, and Native American, and finding the absolute difference with the country as a whole in each of these five categories. For simplicity's sake, presume the US is 70% white, 15% Hispanic, 10% black, 3% Asian, and 2% Native American. The state of Eagleland is 55% white, 25% Hispanic, 5% black, and 15% Asian, and 0% Native American. So Eagleland's variance index value is 39 ([55-70]+[25-15]+[5-10]+[15-3]+[0-2]). Figures are calculated from 2009 US Census data.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Please offer a conclusion to this interesting tidbit of information. Perhaps I'm an idiot, but what do these numbers have to do with fiscal irresponsibility?

Audacious Epigone said...

Anon,

Nothing directly. Honestly, it is just an interesting tidbit, and I wanted to add a little flavor text. That's the best I could come up with :)

Anonymous said...

Fair enough.

Different data set, but I'd love someone to do what Money magazine refuses to do, and that's publish a "Best Places" based on crime rate, etc. And that DIDN'T exclude cities with 94.9999% or higher "non-diversity."