Racial-Ethnic Diversity and Socioeconomic Prosperity in U.S. Counties

Luke Rogers, University of New Hampshire
Andrew Schaefer, University of New Hampshire
Justin R. Young, University of New Hampshire

Researchers interested in the spatial distribution of ethno-racial inequality tend to focus on nonwhites’ overrepresentation in disadvantaged places, but less is known about places that are both diverse and economically advantaged. We use county-level data to explore the relationship between socioeconomic prosperity and diversity, paying particular attention to metropolitan status and other factors that might separate prosperous diverse counties from ones that are diverse but not prosperous. We find, among counties that are more diverse than average, only 13 percent are “prosperous” (that is, they experience less poverty and unemployment, lower high-school drop rates, and fewer housing problems than the nation). These diverse, prosperous counties are most commonly on the fringes of large core metropolitan areas, whereas diverse places that are not prosperous are typically classified as nonmetropolitan. Logistic regression models will be used to identify other dimensions along which diverse counties are stratified, including labor-market composition and migration-related characteristics.

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Presented in Poster Session 6: Population Aging; Gender, Race and Ethnicity