Lexington residents are more likely to be of the same race, speak the same language and be born in the same U.S. region than most other large cities, a new study says.
Its neighbor up the road, Louisville, is even less diverse, according to analysis based on U.S. Census data.
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Why does it matter? A cadre of experts told WalletHub that diversity brings broader and deeper pools of talent for businesses that also can be more diverse in their offerings. Economic growth occurs. Access to other cultures expands world view and understanding. Companies can do more to attract a diverse workforce and benefit communities. Groups and individuals can partner with others in various ways to make the area more inviting.
“People who live in ethnically diverse cities are more likely to be inclusive, culturally competent and less prejudiced compared to those who live in a homogenous city,” said Bahaudin G. Mujtaba, a professor of human resources and diversity management.
WalletHub looked at 501 of the most populated cities and compared ethnicity diversity (Hispanic or Latino; non-Hispanic white, black, Asian and all others); linguistic diversity (English, Spanish and three other language groupings); and birthplace diversity (in state, other U.S. regions, foreign nations). Points were awarded based on the category. The points were combined into one score.
The cities were then divided and compared according to size with large cities having more than 300,000 people, midsize cities having 100,000 to 300,000 residents and small cities with fewer than 100,000 people.
There were few surprises among the large cities that were most diverse: New York and seven from California (Oakland, San Jose, San Francisco, San Diego, Sacramento, Los Angeles and Long Beach). Boston and Houston rounded out the top ten. Least diverse large cities are: Omaha, Neb.; St. Louis; El Paso, Texas; Baltimore; Memphis; Pittsburg; New Orleans; Lexington; Louisville; and Detroit.
Lexington had low marks across the board in diversity in all three categories: ethnoracial, linguistic and birthplace diversity.