That Oakland’s diverse is not new information. In 1994, when I was a columnist for The Montclarion, in the Oakland Hills, I produced a 70-question survey of Oaklanders. The result was 600 snail-mail-returned surveys, the largest mail return ever in the history of The Montclarion, and a treasure trove of information never fully appreciated by anyone at the time.
One of the questions asked why the survey respondent moved to Oakland, or if they were born in Oakland, what quality they liked most about our City. The question design called for the person to write in their answer. Think about that.
64 percent of the respondents wrote in one word: diversity.
That was 1994. So, it should come as welcome news that, at a time of talk of gentrification, and blacks being pushed out of West Oakland and East Oakland, the very mix, and the desire to mix, in Oakland, has not left us.
According to a WalletHub Study released today, and reported to this blogger via email to Zennie62Media, “Oakland, California, has the highest racial and ethnic diversity, which is four times higher than in Hialeah, Florida, the city with the lowest.”
Informed of this distinction, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf had this to say “Our City’s diversity is what makes Oakland strong. Inclusion is what makes us beautiful. Our country is in a moment when we all need to recognize that it’s our great diversity that truly brings us together; Oakland is blessed to be the most diverse city in the country and the most inclusive.”
Overall, WalletHub says that Oakland scored a “7” for ethnic diversity, but it’s ethnoracial diversity score was “1”.
And WalletHub presents an interactive map of all American cities, here:
And this interactive map of year-by-year change in American states:
And this map of percent of state residents born in that state:
Most Ethnically Diverse Cities:
1. Jersey City, NJ
2. Gaithersburg, MD
3. Germantown, MD
4. Silver Spring, MD
5. Spring Valley, NV
6. New York, NY
7. Oakland, CA
8. San Jose, CA
9. Rockville, MD
10. Kent, WA
Least Ethnically Diverse Cities:
492. Rutland, VT
493. Wheeling, WV
494. Laconia, NH
495. Miles City, MT
496. Bennington, VT
497. Barre, VT
498. Clarksburg, WV
499. Watertown, SD
500. Parkersburg, WV
501. Hialeah, FL
Now, its notable to explain that the comparison above only reflects “ethnic” and not racial and ethnic diversity. The difference being that, according to the website Diffen (selected because it is the most sucinct explanation) “Race refers to a person’s physical characteristics, such as bone structure and skin, hair, or eye color. Ethnicity, however, refers to cultural factors, including nationality, regional culture, ancestry, and language. … You can have more than one ethnicities but you are said to have one race, even if it’s “mixed race”.