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Researchers in US create Digital Map to track changing Racial Diversity of every neighbourhood in the Country

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Population (representational Image), Pixabay
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New York, April 22, 2017: Researchers in the US have created a digital map to track the changing racial diversity of every neighbourhood in the country.

The map shows which neighbourhoods have become less homogenous over the last two decades and which have not.

Tomasz Stepinski from University of Cincinnati applied NASA mapmaking techniques to 20 years of data collected by the US Census Bureau to build one of the most detailed racial-diversity maps ever created.

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The zoomable map, a paper about which was published in the journal PLOS One, shows at a glance how the racial composition of neighbourhoods changed between 1990 and 2010.

“People don’t realise that the United States is a diverse country but at the same time is still very segregated,” Stepinski, who created the map in collaboration with his postdoctoral researcher Anna Dmowska, said.

The researchers think that the map will have broad appeal to journalists, policymakers and researchers.

“The maps can tell us much more about racial composition and can be used by everyone,” Dmowska, who now works at the Institute of Geoecology and Geoinformation of Adam Mickiewicz University in Poland, said.

“They don’t require expert knowledge to understand the results, so I think maps can be used by a broader community,” Dmowska said.

Updating the maps in future census years will be relatively simple, she said.

“Our grids are ready to use for multiyear comparison,” Dmowska added.

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The maps allow users to create their own smaller study area and then glean data from it.

In some cities, they tell the story of recent immigration in America. For example, the maps demonstrate the influx of Asian immigrants in San Francisco over the last 20 years.

Many of these newcomers are Southeast Asians who were drawn to the area by the Silicon Valley boom, Stepinski said.

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And in Cincinnati, too, the census maps track the changing racial composition of the city.

Neighbourhoods that were predominantly White or Black in 1990 are far more diverse now.

But they also show the way that racial segregation has defined some cities.

For example, in the Detroit neighbourhoods popularised by the movie “8 Mile,” the map from 1990 clearly shows the segregation of Black and White communities on either side of 8 Mile Road. (IANS)

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How sexual violence in neighbourhood affects your health

Researchers conducted interviews with nearly 350 adults in nine neighbourhoods in a major American city with high rates of poverty, unemployment and crime

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Sexual violence in neighborhood can affect the mental health of women. Pexels
Sexual violence in neighborhood can affect the mental health of women. Pexels
  • Sexual violence in the neighbourhood can harm your health.
  • Neighbourhood plays a vital role in human behaviour.
  • Men can be more aware of what makes women feel insecure.

A study finds sexual violence in the neighbourhood can harm the physical and mental health of women. Neighbourhoods play a key role in the behaviour and development of people, previous studies show and some conditions — such as crime, segregation, poverty and disorder — can have harmful effects on health.

Researchers conducted interviews with nearly 350 adults in nine neighbourhoods in a major American city with high rates of poverty, unemployment and crime.

“Feeling unsafe, especially in and around your home, can erode physical and mental health,” said Dana M. Prince, co-author of the study and assistant professor at the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences at Case Western Reserve University.

Researchers say men can be more aware of what makes women feel insecure. Pexels
Researchers say men can be more aware of what makes women feel insecure. Pexels

According to the researchers, feelings about the frequency of rape or other forms of sexual assault in a neighbourhood are significantly tied to women’s perceptions of its safety.

“Our results could mean men are less aware of sexual violence, or perhaps they do not feel comfortable reporting that it makes them feel less safe — perhaps both — while women tend to be socialised early on to be aware of the possibility of sexual attack,” Prince added.

Participants were asked how often particular crimes occurred in their neighbourhood in the past six months.

“Our results indicate that men can become more aware of how women feel about what contributes to and threaten their safety,” the researcher said.

The study was published in the Journal of Community Psychology. (IANS)