Monday, January 13, 2014

Two Maps -- Heritage of Ethnic Poverty Frozen in Geography

American ancestry by county

Source: "40 more maps that explain the world," The Washington Post
This map, which shows the dominant ancestry in each U.S. county, is a wonderful show of American diversity and a living museum of America's history of immigration, voluntary as well as forced. 
 Percentage of individuals living in poverty, by county, 2000
Source: "The Topography of Poverty in the United States: A Spatial Analysis Using County-Level Data From the Community Health Status Indicators Project"
Compare the two maps. Note how often the counties with majority African American, majority Mexican ancestry, and majority Native American populations are also counties with relatively high percentages of people living in poverty.

What do you suppose the socio-economic mobility is for a young person of one of these ancestries, coming from a very poor family in a county with lots of poor people? Do they have equal educational services? We know that education has been a key to individual mobility in America. Do they have role models living locally who have succeeded economically?

No comments: