Why We Have Removed the Racial Dot Map

After nine years and millions of views, the 2010 Racial Dot Map has reached its expiration date.  We have taken it offline as it no longer provides the most accurate depiction of the nation’s population distribution and changing racial composition. Several factors contributed to this decision:

  1. The 2020 Census count released by the U.S. Census Bureau on August 12, 2021 provides a new snapshot of the U.S. population by race and ethnicity, making 2020 the most current data of record. As demographers committed to data integrity, we cannot continue to host a map that does not accurately tell the story of race in the United States.
  2. Between the 2010 and 2020 censuses, the multi-race and “Some Other Race” categories show significant growth. In the 2020 Census, ten percent of the population identified as multi-race compared to three percent in 2010; and “Some Other Race” became the second largest racial group, surpassing the population identifying themselves as Blacks or African-Americans.  Both the dynamic growth of these populations and complexity of reflecting this rich diversity through color-coded dots made the model used for the Racial Dot Map inadequate to the task.
  3. Producing a new map, equally elegant in its simplicity but capable of reflecting many more racial/ethnic groups is beyond our organization’s financial and personnel resources.

We appreciate that so many of you have been passionate advocates for the 2010 Racial Dot Map and the ways it has helped to promote equity in your communities.