The Tributary’s newest tool, launched Thursday, allows you to explore a racial-dot map of every person in Florida.

Seeing the racial diversity of the state in this way is useful in many ways.

It highlights the segregation of communities likes St. Petersburg, where the southern portion of the city is overwhelmingly Black and the rest of the city is overwhelmingly white.

St. Petersburg

It can show the complex ways that Hispanic and migrant communities identify. Take Immokalee, a community of farmworkers where a high percentage of residents identify as either “Hispanic” or “non-Hispanic some other race”.

Immokalee

It can also show how the sprawling prison complexes in places like Union County artificially boost those counties’ population and make them look more diverse than they actually are. In Union County, 30 percent of the population is incarcerated, and that population is more likely to be Black than the rest of the county.

Florida’s sprawling prison complexes in Union and Bradford counties, where Union Correctional Institution and Florida State Prison hold thousands of people.

It also reveals communities with real racial diversity like south Orange County and Osceola County.

The Orange County-Osceola County border.

Across the state, the tool reveals a truism about Florida: generally the closer you get to the ocean or major rivers, the whiter your community becomes. Take South Florida, where beach communities are the most likely to have larger white populations.

South Florida

In Jacksonville, where The Tributary is based, you can see the segregated white neighborhoods of Mandarin, Ortega and the Beaches.

Mandarin, Jacksonville, Fla.
Riverside, Avondale and Ortega in Jacksonville, Fla
Duval County’s Beaches communities.

The segregation of Jacksonville’s Black-majority Northside comes into stark view, a result of decades of white flight, underinvestment and discriminatory housing practices.

Jacksonville’s Black-majority Northside

The tool also reveals the way the built environment impacts the racial demographics of neighborhoods. Examine how I-10 and its exit ramp to Roosevelt Boulevard separate the white-majority Riverside from its more diverse neighbors in Murray Hill and the Black-majority neighborhoods north of I-10.

Interstate 10 separates the white-majority Riverside from Black-majority neighborhoods north of I-10.

We hope this tool can reveal truths about your community. Send your insights and thoughts after using the tool to ChangingFlorida@jaxtrib.org.

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Andrew Pantazi is the founding editor of The Tributary. He previously worked as a reporter at The Florida Times-Union where he helped organize the newsroom's union with the NewsGuild-CWA. He and his wife,...