Diversified counties and the 2016 election

According to Janet Adamy and Paul Overberg from the Wall Street Journal, the counties that diversified rapidly since the beginning of this century voted heavily for Donald Trump. Analyzing exit poll results and census data, the article provides a possible explanation to why some traditional blue states turned into red this past election.

The authors identified counties with the most rapid demographic change since 2000 by using the diversity index, a measure of the chance that any two individuals in a county have a different race or ethnicity. According to the analysis, small towns in the Midwest diversified more rapidly than any other area of the country between 2000 and 2015, mostly because of latinos moving into heavily white areas. Particularly in cities in Iowa, Indiana, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Minnesota.

In the more diversified counties - where the diversity index reaches 150% or more - Trump obtained a 67% of the vote, while Clinton received 29%.

Even though latinos usually tend to vote democrat, their higher presence in some of these states did not translate into more votes for Clinton. According to Pew Research, the democrat candidate won 65% of latino voters, a lower share of this population vote compared to Obama’s 71% in 2012.  


Daniela Oliva

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