Racial and Ethnic Composition

Divergence Index: Share of Census Tracts by Degree of Racial Residential Segregation

Silicon Valley

Silicon Valley data include Santa Clara and San Mateo counties. Multiple & Other includes American Indian and Alaska Native alone, Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander alone, Some Other Race alone, and Two or More Races. White, Black or African-American, and Multiple & Other are not Hispanic or Latino. In 2021, the U.S. Census Bureau changed the way respondents were categorized into racial and ethnic groups if they indicated more than one race in addition to Hispanic or Latino, which has resulted in a significant year-over-year increase in the number of Hispanic or Latino persons in the Some Other Race and Two or More Race categories. The Diversity Index calculation for Silicon Valley utilized the formula from the U.S. Census Bureau 2020 Census: Racial and Ethnic Diversity Index by State (August 12, 2021), originally from Phillip Meyer and Shawn McIntosh, “The USA Today Index of Ethnic Diversity,” International Journal of Public Opinion Research (Volume 4, Issue 1), 1992. The index includes population estimates encompassing Joint Venture’s city-defined region, and is calculated as: DI = 1 – (H² + W² + B² + AIAN² + Asian² + NHPI² + SOR² + Multi²) where H is % Hispanic or Latino, W is % White alone, B is % Black or African American alone, AIAN is % American Indian and Alaska Native alone, Asian is % Asian alone, NHPI is % Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander alone, SOR is % Some Other Race alone, MULTI is % Two or More Races. Estimates for all races included in the calculation are not Hispanic or Latino. The Diversity Index (DI) indicates the probability that two people chosen at random will be from different racial and/or ethnic groups; a DI of zero indicates no diversity, whereas a DI of 1 indicates complete diversity (everyone is of a different race and/or ethnicity). The probabilities have been converted into percentages to make them easier to interpret. The Divergence Index is a measure of racial residential segregation and compares the demographics of census tracts in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties to the demographics of the larger metro-regions (CBSAs) in which the tracts are located. The degree of difference is how much those demographics diverge, thus the divergence score. This methodology allows for the comparison of more than two groups at a time, which is especially useful in a region like the Bay Area which is both diverse and segregated. Rather than thresholds or cut-offs for low, moderate, and high divergence scores, the Othering & Belonging Institute recommends looking at the ranking of the score compared to all US census tracts since the scores of a region may change drastically over time, and single numbers may become incomparable to the larger U.S. The percentages indicate the share of Silicon Valley census tracts which are in the top third, middle third, and bottom third of U.S. divergence scores per decade (i.e. the comparison to the U.S. is built into the high/mod/low classification).

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Resources for Relevant Data and Reports (show)

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