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The Most Segregated City in America?
No, it's not another study or list. We mapped the data, and what we found wasn't all that surprising.

Remember last year when Rev. Jesse Jackson claimed Milwaukee was “the most segregated city in America?” Looking through the data showed he wasn’t  far off, as Milwaukee topped three national lists. Our friends over at the 312 blog at chicagomag.com recently made us aware of the Census Bureau’s OnTheMap feature that allows for all sorts of data analysis. So, we got to work on Milwaukee.

First, we looked at the home addresses of workers in Milwaukee county. Looking at the map with the homes of only white workers selected, we see a large number of people spread out throughout the Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis area (602,694 people or 83.8 percent). Most of these people are concentrated in Shorewood, the Upper East Side, West Milwaukee, West Allis and part of Wauwatosa.

Switch the map to show only Milwaukee’s African American workers (87,181 people or 12.1 percent) and the segregated areas can’t get much more defined. We find most of the African-American community From Brown Deer down to Midtown and just east of Butler over to Lincoln Park, with very few people anywhere else.

The study Jackson cited only examined black-white segregation, yet Milwaukee doesn’t improve with Hispanic segregation either. For analysis, the ethnicity options are “Hispanic/Latino” (43,374 or 6 percent) or “Not Hispanic/Latino” (675,921 or 94 percent). Looking at the “Not Hispanic/Latino” illustration, the homes are spread out around the entire Milwaukee area. When you turn on the filter to show only the places where Hispanic workers live, it shows a very small, yet heavily populated area around Walker’s Point and Historic Mitchell Street. 

Homes of White Workers


Homes of African-American Workers


Homes of Hispanic Workers





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