The Spatial Distribution of Changes in County-Level Racial/Ethnic Diversity in the United States, 1980-2000: Using ESDA, Spatial Regression, and GWR

Lauren A. Hughes, Pennsylvania State University

In recent years the U.S. has experienced a national trend toward greater racial/ethnic diversity, however, little is known about the spatial dynamics of racial/ethnic diversity at the subnational level. In this study, I will utilize exploratory spatial data analysis (ESDA) to examine the spatial patterns of racial/ethnic diversity and changes in racial/ethnic diversity, using county-level data from 1980 – 2000. In addition, I will employ OLS and spatial regression models to explore the relationships between change in racial/ethnic diversity and a range of social and contextual variables, including poverty, immigration, population size, region, county type, and functional specialization. Finally, I will use geographically weighted regression (GWR) to assess whether these relationships are constant across the U.S. Preliminary analyses reveal a strong spatial element in the distribution of change in diversity and statistically significant non-stationary relationships between change in racial/ethnic diversity and changes in poverty, percent foreign born, and population size.

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Presented in Poster Session 1