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Most diverse cities in the US

Which is the most diverse state in America?

America is the fourth-largest country in the world by land mass and the third most populous country. When combined, these two factors make the country a very diverse place to live. Which got us thinking: Which is the most diverse city in the country?

To find out which cities are most and least diverse in the US, we analyzed census data for 17 key diversity factors and grouped those factors into three categories:

  1. Cultural diversity
  2. Socioeconomic diversity
  3. Household diversity

We then used the results to score the cities based on overall diversity. We found 209 different cities with enough data to satisfy each of the criteria.

Top five most diverse cities in the US

California is home to 51 out of 209 cities listed on our diversity index, with its cities earning an average overall diversity score of 58.28. Texas is the only other state on the list with double-digit entries at 13 cities and an average score of 56.84. Unsurprisingly, a California city tops our list.

1. Richmond, California

Coming in first for diversity is Richmond, California, with an overall, or combined, diversity score of 62.23. Richmond’s score is bolstered by its third-place ranking for cultural diversity with a score of 32.6, which accounts for sex, race, ethnicity, age, language, place of birth and citizenship.

Richmond scores 18.3 for socioeconomic diversity — or 46th on our list of cities in this category. This is calculated using educational attainment, income, occupation, industry, class of worker and veteran status scores.

Finally, Richmond scores 11.4 for household diversity, holding the 33rd position in this category, which looks at household type, marital status, family type and family size.

2. Bridgeport, Connecticut

Across the country and in second place is Bridgeport, Connecticut, with an overall diversity score of 62.18. Bridgeport comes in just behind Richmond for cultural diversity with a score of 32.5 — good for fourth on the list. And it outperforms Richmond for household diversity, with a score of 11.7, or 15th in this category.

What stops Bridgeport from taking the No. 1 spot for overall diversity is how it ranks for socioeconomic diversity, scoring 17.9 and landing it in the 104th position.

3. Dale City, Virginia

Staying on the East Coast, we have our bronze winner, Dale City, Virginia, which earns an overall diversity score of 62.15. The city ranks fairly well for cultural diversity at a score of 32.2, putting it in eighth place for the category. And it does well in socioeconomic diversity, earning 12th place with a score of 18.9. But an 11.1 score for household diversity pulls Dale City down into 69th place for the metric.

4. Inglewood, California

Back on the West Coast and in fourth place is Inglewood, California. Inglewood scores a 61.63 for overall diversity. Unlike all other cities in the top five that owe their positions to also ranking in the top 10 for cultural diversity, Inglewood secures its place with an 11.9 score for household diversity, putting it at fifth place for the category.

In contrast, Inglewood gets 24th place for cultural diversity with a score of 31. But it does a bit better when it comes to socioeconomic diversity, with a score of 18.7 that puts it in 16th place.

5. San Leandro, California

California’s San Leandro rounds out the top five with a score of 61.26 for overall diversity. Its cultural diversity score of 32.1 — ninth for cultural diversity overall — bolster its overall score.

San Leandro scores 18.1 for socioeconomic diversity — 74th overall for this metric. And it’s tied with Dale City for household diversity at 69th place with a score of 11.1.

The five least diverse US cities

Just as there is light, there is dark, so too must this list have a bottom five cities.

1. Scottsdale, Arizona

Scottsdale, Arizona, ranks the least diverse city on our list, netting an overall diversity score of 46.3.

  • Cultural diversity: 20.8, 206th place
  • Socioeconomic diversity: 16.1, 198th place
  • Household diversity: 9.3, 202nd place

2. Duluth, Minnesota

Coming in at second on our least diverse cities in the US is Duluth, Minnesota, with an overall diversity score of 47.25. It also earns the unfortunate title of least culturally diverse city in America — dead last for that metric.

  • Cultural diversity: 18.7, 209th place
  • Socioeconomic diversity: 17.8, 119th place
  • Household diversity: 10.7, 131st place

3. Springfield, Missouri

Just behind Duluth is Springfield, Missouri, with an overall diversity score of 47.83. Duluth’s low rank is due in part to its cultural diversity score, which is second lowest for the metric.

  • Cultural diversity: 19.4, 208th place
  • Socioeconomic diversity: 17.7, 128th place
  • Household diversity: 10.7, 131st place

4. Arvada, Colorado

Arvada, Colorado, comes in at fourth among least diverse cities with a 48.38 overall diversity score. Low cultural diversity and household diversity scores contribute to its rank.

  • Cultural diversity: 20.6, 207th place
  • Socioeconomic diversity: 17.7, 128th place
  • Household diversity: 10.1, 180th place

5. Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Rounding out the bottom five is Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Like Arvada, its overall score of 48.73 is partly the result of low cultural and household diversity scores.

  • Cultural diversity: 21.3, 199th place
  • Socioeconomic diversity: 17.6, 145th place
  • Household diversity: 9.9, 191st place

Most culturally diverse cities

To score cities based on the cultural diversity index, we analyzed sex, race, ethnicity, age, language, place of birth and citizenship.

The top most culturally diverse cities are:

  1. Hayward, California
  2. Irving, Texas
  3. Richmond, California
  4. Jersey City, New Jersey
  5. Bridgeport, Connecticut

Most socioeconomically diverse cities

Our socioeconomic diversity index is calculated by analyzing educational attainment, income, occupation, industry, class of worker and veteran status.

The top five most socioeconomically diverse cities:

  1. Fayetteville, North Carolina
  2. Norfolk, Virginia
  3. Vacaville, California
  4. Newport News, Virginia
  5. Hampton, Virginia

Vacaville has the highest share of population of any city we looked at — 40.3% of all city residents — whose highest educational attainment is some college or an associate degree.

Cities with the most household diversity

Our household diversity index is calculated using household type, marital status, family type and family size.

The top five cities with greatest household diversity are:

  1. Fayetteville, North Carolina
  2. Fresno, California
  3. Norfolk, Virginia
  4. El Paso, Texas
  5. Sacramento, California

Interestingly, Fayetteville has the highest share of cohabiting couples in cities we looked at — 41.1% of the city’s households.

Full ranking of the most diverse cities overall

Here’s the complete list of cities included in our study. Find your city using the search function.

City rankings for each diversity metric

RankCityStateCultural diversitySocioeconomic diversityHousehold diversity
1RichmondCalifornia32.618.311.4
2BridgeportConnecticut32.517.911.7
3Dale CityVirginia32.218.911.1
4InglewoodCalifornia31.018.711.9
5San LeandroCalifornia32.118.111.1
6StocktonCalifornia30.918.511.8
7AntiochCalifornia31.018.411.7
8HaywardCalifornia32.917.610.6
9SacramentoCalifornia30.318.711.9
10Los AngelesCalifornia31.718.011.3
11El MonteCalifornia32.117.910.9
12HawthorneCalifornia30.718.411.5
13YonkersNew York31.517.911.4
14New YorkNew York32.017.511.0
15Silver SpringMaryland32.317.211.0
16ElizabethNew Jersey31.717.511.3
17Sunrise ManorNevada31.018.011.5
18Long BeachCalifornia30.518.411.6
19Chula VistaCalifornia30.318.811.2
20North Las VegasNevada30.518.411.3
21IrvingTexas32.717.510.0
22NewarkNew Jersey31.417.711.1
23PomonaCalifornia30.318.211.6
24HartfordConnecticut32.317.310.6
25ProvidenceRhode Island31.817.310.9
26PatersonNew Jersey32.116.911.1
27FresnoCalifornia29.118.712.2
28Garden GroveCalifornia31.218.010.7
29OaklandCalifornia31.117.611.1
30ParadiseNevada30.817.911.0
31HoustonTexas30.618.011.1
32Spring ValleyNevada31.217.610.7
33SpringfieldMassachusetts29.718.011.8
34RiversideCalifornia29.718.411.3
35AnaheimCalifornia30.318.111.0
36San BernardinoCalifornia29.318.311.7
37BrocktonMassachusetts29.218.111.8
38FayettevilleNorth Carolina26.420.512.3
39FontanaCalifornia30.118.310.8
40Elk GroveCalifornia29.818.211.1
41New HavenConnecticut30.917.510.7
42CoronaCalifornia29.918.211.0
43AuroraColorado29.418.611.1
44Las VegasNevada29.418.411.2
45ArlingtonTexas29.718.211.0
46Jersey CityNew Jersey32.516.410.0
47AuburnWashington29.318.410.9
48GarlandTexas30.018.110.5
49Daly CityCalifornia30.517.910.2
50San JoseCalifornia31.816.89.9
51TucsonArizona27.918.711.7
52Urban HonoluluHawaii28.718.810.9
53BakersfieldCalifornia28.418.511.4
54ConcordCalifornia30.017.710.5
55OntarioCalifornia29.218.011.0
56San DiegoCalifornia29.218.010.8
57DallasTexas29.317.810.9
58PasadenaCalifornia31.116.410.4
59Santa RosaCalifornia28.718.211.1
60WorcesterMassachusetts28.418.111.4
61Santa AnaCalifornia29.217.810.7
62Costa MesaCalifornia29.617.710.4
63EscondidoCalifornia27.818.611.3
64ChicagoIllinois29.417.410.9
65VacavilleCalifornia27.219.610.8
66LowellMassachusetts29.217.610.7
67OrlandoFlorida29.717.410.5
68Fort WorthTexas28.418.210.9
69FullertonCalifornia29.617.610.2
70NorfolkVirginia25.120.212.1
71GlendaleArizona27.618.511.3
72OceansideCalifornia27.319.011.0
73StamfordConnecticut30.117.010.2
74EverettWashington27.318.511.4
75TampaFlorida28.617.710.9
76AuroraIllinois29.617.510.1
77BostonMassachusetts30.116.610.4
78Newport NewsVirginia25.719.511.9
79SalinasCalifornia28.018.011.0
80El PasoTexas25.919.112.0
81El CajonCalifornia27.918.410.6
82PhoenixArizona27.718.111.1
83AlbuquerqueNew Mexico26.518.511.8
84AlamedaCalifornia29.216.810.6
85St. PaulMinnesota27.817.711.2
86PhiladelphiaPennsylvania27.817.711.2
87MiamiFlorida27.817.811.0
88GlendaleCalifornia28.917.410.3
89UplandCalifornia28.217.710.7
90Fort LauderdaleFlorida27.917.910.7
91San AntonioTexas26.418.611.4
92AlexandriaVirginia28.317.011.0
93Oklahoma CityOklahoma26.118.711.5
94BuffaloNew York26.918.011.4
95TacomaWashington26.118.711.3
96RochesterNew York27.417.811.0
97AnchorageAlaska26.218.911.0
98TorranceCalifornia30.116.39.7
99SyracuseNew York26.318.211.5
100AlbanyNew York25.818.111.9
101CharlotteNorth Carolina28.017.310.5
102Santa ClaritaCalifornia27.617.910.3
103RenoNevada26.618.310.9
104JacksonvilleFlorida26.118.511.1
105MilwaukeeWisconsin27.117.610.9
106GreensboroNorth Carolina26.718.011.1
107San FranciscoCalifornia30.215.79.6
108AustinTexas27.617.110.8
109GainesvilleFlorida25.818.411.2
110HamptonVirginia24.019.511.9
111Virginia BeachVirginia24.819.511.0
112TulsaOklahoma25.918.111.2
113East Los AngelesCalifornia25.917.611.7
114Redwood CityCalifornia30.215.69.3
115DurhamNorth Carolina27.017.110.9
116OrangeCalifornia27.717.49.9
117SalemOregon24.818.611.5
118QuincyMassachusetts27.516.910.5
119Salt Lake CityUtah26.717.710.5
120Winston-SalemNorth Carolina25.718.011.2
121RaleighNorth Carolina26.617.310.8
122IrvineCalifornia29.715.010.0
123ClevelandOhio25.418.111.3
124ThorntonColorado26.518.210.0
125DentonTexas25.618.211.0
126ColumbiaSouth Carolina23.919.211.5
127LansingMichigan25.318.111.2
128TallahasseeFlorida24.718.211.7
129ColumbusOhio25.617.811.2
130SunnyvaleCalifornia31.114.58.9
131GreshamOregon25.718.110.6
132PlanoTexas28.516.29.6
133South BendIndiana25.417.811.0
134Huntington BeachCalifornia26.617.410.2
135Nashville-Davidson metropolitan governmentTennessee25.817.710.7
136Athens-Clarke County unified governmentGeorgia25.118.310.8
137GreeleyColorado25.018.410.8
138Corpus ChristiTexas23.319.011.8
139Augusta-Richmond County consolidated governmentGeorgia23.319.211.5
140VancouverWashington24.918.210.8
141LubbockTexas24.318.411.2
142Kansas CityMissouri24.918.010.9
143SavannahGeorgia24.118.611.0
144WichitaKansas24.418.310.9
145TempeArizona26.217.210.3
146Little RockArkansas23.918.211.5
147ChandlerArizona26.916.810.0
148RichmondVirginia24.618.210.7
149MesaArizona24.618.110.8
150Des MoinesIowa24.118.111.2
151WashingtonDistrict of Columbia26.416.011.0
152Indianapolis cityIndiana24.817.910.7
153FremontCalifornia29.815.18.5
154DenverColorado25.917.010.5
155HendersonNevada24.918.310.2
156MinneapolisMinnesota26.016.810.6
157Colorado SpringsColorado23.918.610.9
158Grand RapidsMichigan24.917.610.8
159MemphisTennessee23.518.211.4
160West JordanUtah24.617.910.3
161BaltimoreMaryland23.417.911.5
162Lexington-Fayette urbanKentucky23.618.011.0
163Baton RougeLouisiana23.018.311.3
164ArlingtonVirginia26.915.510.1
165OmahaNebraska24.217.710.5
166Fort WayneIndiana23.817.810.7
167New OrleansLouisiana23.217.911.3
168DaytonOhio23.217.911.2
169BellevueWashington29.114.68.6
170PortlandOregon24.417.110.7
171St. LouisMissouri23.917.410.9
172AkronOhio22.917.911.2
173Louisville/Jefferson County metro governmentKentucky23.018.010.9
174CincinnatiOhio23.417.411.0
175SeattleWashington26.315.79.7
176ToledoOhio22.617.811.1
177MobileAlabama21.818.511.2
178EugeneOregon21.918.211.3
179AtlantaGeorgia24.716.210.5
180St. PetersburgFlorida23.517.710.0
181WilmingtonNorth Carolina22.318.010.8
182KnoxvilleTennessee21.618.311.2
183MadisonWisconsin23.217.210.6
184LakewoodColorado22.817.710.6
185SpringfieldIllinois21.118.311.4
186HialeahFlorida21.217.911.6
187SpokaneWashington21.018.311.2
188BirminghamAlabama21.618.010.8
189DetroitMichigan21.717.711.0
190PittsburghPennsylvania23.316.610.4
191LincolnNebraska21.618.210.5
192BloomingtonIndiana22.317.710.3
193DavenportIowa21.718.210.3
194CambridgeMassachusetts28.313.18.7
195GilbertArizona23.017.29.9
196CharlestonSouth Carolina22.417.710.0
197Cedar RapidsIowa21.218.010.7
198RochesterMinnesota23.716.79.4
199ProvoUtah23.616.99.2
200OremUtah23.217.09.4
201Fort CollinsColorado21.117.610.5
202SandyUtah22.317.19.9
203Boise CityIdaho21.117.910.0
204NapervilleIllinois25.714.78.6
205Sioux FallsSouth Dakota21.317.69.9
206ArvadaColorado20.617.710.1
207SpringfieldMissouri19.417.710.7
208DuluthMinnesota18.717.810.7
209ScottsdaleArizona20.816.19.3

Methodology

To determine which cities are the most diverse, we analyzed three diversity metrics in 209 cities:

  • Cultural diversity
  • Socioeconomic diversity
  • Household diversity.

We then calculated Simpson’s Diversity Index for each metric, which is a measure of diversity that accounts for richness and evenness of diversity — or the probability that two people taken at random from the population are the same type.

After we scored each metric using the Simpson Diversity Index, we weighted each of our three categories.

Cultural diversity — 50 points

  • Sex — 10 points
  • Race — 10 points
  • Ethnicity — 5 points
  • Age — 10 points
  • Language — 5 points
  • Place of birth — 5 points
  • Citizenship — 5 points

Socioeconomic diversity — 30 points

  • Educational attainment — 5 points
  • Income — 5 points
  • Occupation — 5 points
  • Industry — 5 points
  • Class of worker — 5 points
  • Veteran Status — 5 points

Household diversity — 20 points

  • Household type — 5 points
  • Marital status — 5 points
  • Family type — 5 points
  • Family size — 5 points

Our data is sourced from the 2019 American Community Survey (ACS) 1-Year Data by the Census Bureau. We chose the 209 cities in our analysis based on cities whose available data included all 17 metrics in the ACS.

Due to this sampling, these eight states are not included in our list:

  • Delaware
  • Maine
  • Mississippi
  • New Hampshire
  • North Dakota
  • Vermont
  • West Virginia
  • Wyoming

Notably, we did not include religion, sexual orientation and gender identity data points due to a lack of data collected in those categories in the US Census.

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