Are Diverse Neighborhoods More Expensive to Live In?

This is the second part of a two-part series on America's most diverse neighborhoods.

Do Americans want to live in diverse neighborhoods "“ or are they avoiding them?

We looked at changes in both occupied households (based on U.S. Postal Service data, just as in our recent post showing suburbs growing faster than urban areas) and home prices (based on homes for sale on Trulia) in the past year, comparing diverse neighborhoods, defined as those where no racial or ethnic group accounts for more than 50 percent of the population, and other neighborhoods. The more diverse neighborhoods have both higher population growth and stronger price growth in the past year "“ and they're a bit more expensive to begin with:


Change in households,
Oct 2011 "“ Oct 2012
Change in median price per square foot, Oct. 2011 - Oct. 2012 Median price per square foot Diverse Neighborhoods .61 percent 1.9 percent $157 Other Neighborhoods .49 percent 1.2 percent $144


Americans, therefore, are moving toward diverse neighborhoods. However, growth in those neighborhoods could affect their diversity: if prices in diverse neighborhoods rise, lower-income residents may get priced out over time. Because the two largest minority racial/ethnic groups "“ blacks and Hispanics "“ have lower incomes, on average, than whites, rising prices could reduce diversity in those markets. When the next Census rolls around in 2020, the list of most-diverse neighborhoods in the U.S. could look very different.

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Technical note: the 2010 Census asked two questions about race and ethnicity: one about Hispanic or Latino origin, and one about race. The official Census race categories are white; black or African American; American Indian or Alaska Native; Asian; Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander; and some other race. People can select more than one race. People of Hispanic or Latino origin can identify as any race.

We follow the convention of many demographic researchers and create racial/ethnic categories that do not overlap. "Hispanic and Latino" and "two or more races" are both considered separate categories. Using this approach, the U.S. population is 63.7 percent white, 16.3 percent Hispanic or Latino, 12.2 percent black or African American, 4.7 percent Asian, 0.7 percent American Indian or Alaska Native, 0.2 percent Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, 0.2 percent some other race, and 1.9 percent two or more races.

In this post, for simplicity, we refer to each racial or ethnic category by the first name or phrase used by the Census: White, Hispanic, Black, Asian, and so on.

See this report for more on how the Census asks about and reports on race and ethnicity.


New York Metro Area

Ranking Zip Code Neighborhood Percent Population in Largest Group 1. 11428 Queens Village (Queens) 26.4 percent 2. 11420 South Ozone Park (Queens) 30.7 percent 3. 07631 Englewood (New Jersey) 31.2 percent 4. 10523 Elmsford (Westchester) 31.2 percent 5. 06606 Bridgeport's North End (Connecticut) 31.7 percent

Los Angeles Metro Area

Ranking Zip Code Neighborhood Percent of Population in the Largest Group 1. 90014 Downtown L.A., near 7th and Main 30.8 percent 2. 90755 Signal Hill, Long Beach 31.3 percent 3. 90013 Downtown L.A., along 4th and 5th 31.7 percent 4. 92833 Fullerton, Orange County 34.2 percent 5. 90620 Buena Park, Orange County 35.2 percent

San Francisco Bay Metro Area

Ranking Zip Code Neighborhood Percent of Population in Largest Group 1. 94130 Treasure Island (San Francisco) 27.2 percent 2. 94531 Antioch (East Bay) 29.3 percent 3. 94577 San Leandro (East Bay) 29.3 percent 4. 94619 Redwood Heights (Oakland) 29.9 percent 5. 94612 Lakeside (Oakland)

29.9 percent

Washington D.C. Metro Area

Ranking Zip Code Neighborhood Percent of Population in Largest Group 1. 22191 Woodbridge (Virginia) 31.2 percent 2. 20906 Aspen Hill (Maryland) 32.0 percent 3. 22306 Alexandria (Virginia) 32.6 percent 4. 20010 Columbia Heights (D.C.) 32.6 percent 5. 22312 Alexandria (Virginia) 33.2 percent