Map Monday: Two Maps Showing Minneapolis Racial Segregation

Here’s a pair of maps from two sources at the University of Minnesota, both showing a similar picture about race and diversity in Minneapolis, though from different angles.

The first, from the Institute for Metropolitan Opportunity:

In a blog post on the map, researcher Will Stancil writes:

Predominantly nonwhite communities form two distinct “blobs” on the map that grow and change over time. The dynamics of segregation — both the inability of nonwhite residents to find housing outside of racially concentrated areas, and the tendency of white residents to flee from an area as it racially transitions — ensures these “blobs” remain coherent and well-defined on the map, even as the city’s nonwhite population grows rapidly.

Here’s another visualization of a very similar map, from the UMN’s Center for Urban and Regional Affairs:

In this map, a “diversity index” is used that contrasts racial and ethnically balanced areas with ones with that have a single dominant group.

Taking a different approach on the segregation data, researcher and PhD student Tony Damiano points to how white neighborhoods become normalized in discourses. From a series of Damiano’s tweets:

The most segregated neighborhoods in Minneapolis are white neighborhoods in southwest Minneapolis …The near-south and near-north sides are the most racially diverse in the city, but policy makers tend to talk about the Northside being racially segregated. Why is that the case?… To many, segregated neighborhoods are just those that don’t have enough white people in them. This leads to a situation where white neighborhoods become the normative ideal and communities of color are inherently looked upon as inferior.

It’s interesting to me to see two ways of looking at the same picture. is a non-profit and is volunteer run. We rely on your support to keep the servers running. If you value what you read, please consider becoming a member.


8 Responses to Map Monday: Two Maps Showing Minneapolis Racial Segregation

  1. Karen Nelson November 20, 2017 at 11:34 am #

    Interesting and sad.

    Would love to see similar maps for St. Paul and some suburbs, do they exist?

  2. Tom Basgen
    Tom Basgen November 20, 2017 at 4:36 pm #

    Computer! Overlay neighborhood wealth statistics!

  3. Tim November 21, 2017 at 8:21 am #

    The #cityburb comparisons David Brauer has been tweeting about (which prompted Damiano’s tweets) are worth checking out as well.

  4. Daniel Hartig
    kingledion November 25, 2017 at 3:00 pm #

    I hate the racist nonsense spouted by Tony Damiano in that tweet. 85% of Minnesota, 75% of Hennepin county, and 60% of Minneapolis is white. It is completely reasonable to treat white majority neighborhoods as the ‘normative ideal,’ whatever that means.

    • Rosa November 25, 2017 at 10:17 pm #

      Normative, maybe. Ideal, no.

    • Bill Lindeke
      Bill Lindeke November 26, 2017 at 7:48 pm #

      I wouldn’t use the word “racist” here.

  5. David Greene November 27, 2017 at 5:14 pm #

    This is great! It bolsters the argument for the development in the Wedge south of 28th. A certain segment of the neighborhood bemoans expensive (and they are expensive!) apartments but my sense has been that they’ve increased the racial diversity of the neighborhood. The data here seems to support that.

Note on Comments welcomes opinions from many perspectives. Please refrain from attacking or disparaging others in your comments. sees debate as a learning opportunity. Please share your perspective in a respectful manner. View our full comment policy to learn more.

Thanks for commenting on!