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The 15 Best Cities to Move to for Diversity

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Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared on Filterbuy.

The U.S. has long been known for its diversity relative to other nations. For hundreds of years, migration and growth have brought people of countless backgrounds to the American melting pot. And the U.S. today is only growing more diverse over time, and frequently in new ways.

Diversity in the population can have several definitions or interpretations, which has made it complicated for demographers to measure. Individuals who identify as a member of a racial or ethnic minority have become an increasing share of the population, but people increasingly have multiracial or multiethnic identities as well. And within different racial or ethnic categories, birthplace and migration history or ancestry can also affect how people identify and their lives day-to-day.

To determine the best locations to move to for diversity, researchers at Filterbuy calculated a composite index based on equally-weighted indices of ethnic/racial diversity, birthplace diversity, and economic equality. The data used in this analysis is from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2020 American Community Survey.

Here are the best U.S. cities to move to for diversity.

15. Albuquerque, NM

Albuquerque homes
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  • Composite index: 53.97
  • Ethnic/racial diversity index: 60.80
  • Birthplace diversity index: 57.10
  • Economic equality index: 44.00

14. Portland, OR

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  • Composite index: 54.76
  • Ethnic/racial diversity index: 49.40
  • Birthplace diversity index: 61.80
  • Economic equality index: 53.07

13. Jacksonville, FL

Jacksonville, Florida
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  • Composite index: 55.49
  • Ethnic/racial diversity index: 64.20
  • Birthplace diversity index: 60.00
  • Economic equality index: 42.27

12. Seattle, WA

Seattle
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  • Composite index: 55.68
  • Ethnic/racial diversity index: 56.90
  • Birthplace diversity index: 66.10
  • Economic equality index: 44.03

11. San Francisco, CA

San Francisco, California
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  • Composite index: 56.06
  • Ethnic/racial diversity index: 69.80
  • Birthplace diversity index: 71.90
  • Economic equality index: 26.47

10. Mesa, AZ

Mesa, Arizona
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  • Composite index: 56.82
  • Ethnic/racial diversity index: 54.80
  • Birthplace diversity index: 60.40
  • Economic equality index: 55.27

9. Colorado Springs, CO

Colorado Springs Neighborhood
Nirmal Bhagat / Shutterstock.com
  • Composite index: 57.20
  • Ethnic/racial diversity index: 50.00
  • Birthplace diversity index: 54.00
  • Economic equality index: 67.60

8. Arlington, TX

Arlington, Texas
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  • Composite index: 59.40
  • Ethnic/racial diversity index: 71.20
  • Birthplace diversity index: 64.00
  • Economic equality index: 43.00

7. Sacramento, CA

Adonis Villanueva / Shutterstock.com
  • Composite index: 60.01
  • Ethnic/racial diversity index: 76.20
  • Birthplace diversity index: 57.20
  • Economic equality index: 46.63

6. San Diego, CA

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  • Composite index: 60.09
  • Ethnic/racial diversity index: 69.70
  • Birthplace diversity index: 67.90
  • Economic equality index: 42.67

5. Virginia Beach, VA

Virginia Beach Virginia Traffic
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  • Composite index: 60.19
  • Ethnic/racial diversity index: 58.00
  • Birthplace diversity index: 59.00
  • Economic equality index: 63.57

4. Anaheim, CA

Anaheim California neighborhood
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  • Composite index: 60.93
  • Ethnic/racial diversity index: 62.80
  • Birthplace diversity index: 63.60
  • Economic equality index: 56.40

3. Aurora, CO

Aurora Colorado Traffic
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  • Composite index: 61.49
  • Ethnic/racial diversity index: 69.20
  • Birthplace diversity index: 67.20
  • Economic equality index: 48.07

2. Tucson, AZ

Tucson, Arizona
Sean-Pavone / Shutterstock.com
  • Composite index: 61.69
  • Ethnic/racial diversity index: 61.30
  • Birthplace diversity index: 62.50
  • Economic equality index: 61.27

1. San Jose, CA

The skyline of San Jose, which has a lower median rent than median mortgage payment
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  • Composite index: 62.92
  • Ethnic/racial diversity index: 70.30
  • Birthplace diversity index: 67.90
  • Economic equality index: 50.57

Methodology

Man analyzing data on a laptop
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The data used in this analysis is from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2020 American Community Survey. To determine the best locations to move to for diversity, researchers calculated a composite index based on the following (equally-weighted) factors out of 100:

  • Ethnic/racial diversity
  • Birthplace diversity
  • Economic equality

To improve relevance, only cities with at least 100,000 residents were included.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

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