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Noah Paessel

★ Visualizing Plymouth County racism ★

Knowuh's twitch: Sep 11 2014

What I learned about my county's demographics from US population data has caused a small interruption in my work day. Intellectually I have always known the story this data told me, but seeing the data in a map was shocking. Shocking enough to merit a few minutes to share.

From Hacker News I found the The Racial Dot Map. It graphs US Census population data from 2010. Its wonderful to look at. Go have a look.

While browsing around, I saw no racial diversity in my county. I wasn't shocked by this; I have known that Plymouth is a terribly homogeneous area. Its one of the reasons we want leave. Witness the ocean of blue caucasians in this image:

Census track map, showing unusual racial cluster
Blender Blocks image

But then I noticed the area outlined in yellow. A high concentration of minorities on the map. It took me a minute to notice it, and then I assumed it was a glitch in the data. There just isn't that much high-density housing here. To double check I fired up Google Maps. That is when I reazlied all those little dots, were people living in jail.

Plymouth in google maps
Blender Blocks image

This trend continues elsewhere in my libral democratic state. Correctional facilities are easily identifieble by the concentration of not-blue dots. Try it yourself. It's sobering, even when you know the stats.