3 Ohio Cities Among Nation’s Most Diverse: U.S. News

ohio diverse cities

CLEVELAND — Nearly 70 percent of the largest cities in the United States are more racially diverse than they were in 2010, according to a U.S. News analysis of the most recently released population estimates data from the U.S. Census Bureau — a trend experts expect to continue.

Three Ohio cities are on this year’s list, including Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati.

To determine which communities made the list, U.S. News looked at cities with a population of more than 300,000 people, then ranked the cities according to changes in racial and ethnic diversity between 2010 and 2018. A total of 66 cities were ranked — and Stockton, California, came in as the most diverse city, while El Paso, Texas, holds the distinction for being the least diverse.

Cleveland came in as the most diverse city in our state with an overall ranking of 28 and a diversity score of 0.67. From 2010 to 2018, the diversity score in Cleveland increased by 8.4 percent. While Cleveland has made progress in its diversity, the city was described as “hyper-segregated” as recently as 2018.

According to U.S. News, a diversity index score of 1 indicates perfect diversity, or a 100 percent chance that two people chosen at random in that city would be different from each other in race and ethnicity.

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Traditional immigrant gateways on both coasts, including New York and Los Angeles, rank among the top 10 most diverse large cities. California cities consistently rank as the most diverse in the country, with Stockton, Oakland and Sacramento taking the top three spots in 2018.

Here are the top 10 most diverse cities, according to the U.S. News report:

  1. Stockton, California
  2. Oakland, California
  3. Sacramento, California
  4. New York, New York
  5. Long Beach, California
  6. San Jose, California
  7. Houston, Texas
  8. Los Angeles, California
  9. Fresno, California
  10. Chicago, Illinois

U.S. News also ranked the least racially diverse cities. Those coming in at the bottom include:

  1. El Paso, Texas
  2. Detroit, Michigan
  3. Lexington, Kentucky
  4. Portland, Oregon
  5. Louisville, Kentucky
  6. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  7. Omaha, Nebraska
  8. Memphis, Tennessee
  9. Colorado Springs, Colorado
  10. Corpus Christi, Texas

Of the 66 cities with a population of 300,000 or more, 46 cities had a higher diversity index score in 2018 than in 2010.

Some of the largest diversity gains have occurred in cities that started with some of the lowest diversity scores. Detroit, with a population of 85 percent black in 2010, saw the biggest gain in diversity, due in part to a growing white population. Between 2010 and 2018, the probability that two people chosen at random would be different from one another in race and ethnicity grew by 21 percent.

“The U.S. is becoming more racially and ethnically diverse, and those patterns tend to be magnified in cities,” Mark Mather, a demographer with the nonprofit Population Reference Bureau, said in the U.S. News report.

The Cities project is part of U.S. News’ Government Rankings initiative, which measures government performance at the international, state and local levels and includes the Best Countries, Best States, Healthiest Communities and Cities projects.

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