Thursday, February 14, 2013

Three Maps

Here's the latest addition to my pile of U.S.-by-county maps. This one color codes each county to show the ancestry most reported by residents responding to the 2010 Census.

(Click the map to enlarge.)

The whole thing is interesting (who knew there were so many Germans?), but the main takeaway is that the counties where the most-mentioned ethnicity is simply "American" are almost all in the Southeast -- which is pretty evenly split between African-American and plain old unmarked American. I came across the link to this map while reading a Salon article called The White South's Last Defeat.

Unfortunately, I don't know exactly how the question was worded on the Census, or if the response was limited to a set number of choices. So it's hard to judge how odd it is that so many labeled their ancestry as simply "American." I am someone who has a hard time answering such a question, since mine is from quite a number of nations, but I don't think I would give that answer.

The next two maps were both created by Neil Freeman of Fake Is the New Real. He's been noodling around with canoodling on how the 50 states could be configured to more evenly represent our population. This is his latest effort:

If nothing else, the map is useful as a way of pointing out just how few people there are in most of the West.

Here's an earlier version he created:

There are many similarities between the two spatially, but a lot of differences in terms of the names he gives to the new states. The Minnesota/Wisconsin/Iowa area, for instance, went from being named St. Croix to being called Mesabi. He changed the boundaries in upstate New York quite a bit, breaking it up more north/south in the new version and dumping the name Erie in favor of Adirondack.

As Freeman says, it's an art project, not a serious proposal, so Texans should not send him angry emails. It would, however, put an end to "varying representation in the House. Currently, the population of House districts ranges from 528,000 to 924,000. After this reform, every House seat would represent districts of the same size." And the same would go for the Electoral College, of course.


Carl said...

I don't think "canoodling" means what you think it means.

Barbara said...

Carl beat me to it. Maybe "noodling around"?

But otherwise, a very intriquing project. I remember the earlier version, and I noticed the name changes, and also that the borders got more wiggly-ish. This more recent version seems more interesting visually--to me, at least.

And finally, back to the ancestry map--I think that I usually leave questions about race/ethnicity/ancestry blank. I will claim to be Irish when it suits me, but "mutt" would be more accurate. Is there a box to check for that?

Daughter Number Three said...

Oh, oops. Thanks for setting me right, Carl and Barbara.

It makes an interesting image, though -- canoodling with maps.