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The Most Diverse Cities in the U.S.

Many Americans say they wish their local community was more racially and ethnically mixed. See which cities have the most diversity.

Compared with many countries, America is a diverse place, and grows more diverse with time, according to the Pew Research Center.

But as much as Americans may embrace diversity, the nation continues to struggle with it, and many lack understanding of its value.

While more than half say racial and ethnic diversity is good for the country, about a third say it would bother them to hear people speak a language that is not English in public, according to a Pew report from 2019. And while a quarter of Americans wish their community was more racially and ethnically mixed, few Americans actually have frequent interactions with other racial or ethnic groups, the report says.

AdvisorSmith, a business insurance research site, studied data for 607 U.S.cities from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey to highlight those that have the most diversity based on the Census Bureau’s seven major categories for race, along with Hispanic or Latino origin. The number crunchers at AdvisorSmith used the proportion of each city’s population that identifies with these characteristics in order to develop a diversity score, which determined the cities with the most diverse populations.

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The Census Bureau’s American Community Survey collects data about race for local, state, tribal, and federal programs that use these data, and says they are critical factors in the basic research behind numerous policies, particularly for civil rights. According to the census bureau, race data are used in planning and funding government programs that provide funds or services for specific groups, to evaluate government programs and policies to ensure that they fairly and equitably serve the needs of all racial groups and to monitor compliance with antidiscrimination laws, regulations, and policies.

The data on race are based on self-identification. Respondents to the American Community Survey can mark more than one race on the form to indicate their racial mixture.

Cities indicated as small on this list have a population under 100,000, midsize have a population of 100,000 to 300,000 and large cities have more than 300,000.

Many of these cities are suburbs of large cities, nine of them are outside San Francisco, four in the Washington, D.C. area, three are outside Seattle, two outside Las Vegas, and two in the New York area.

Based on AdvisorSmith’s research, these are the most diverse cities in the U.S.