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Vallejo in top 20 of U.S. cities for diversity




The city of Vallejo is one of the most racially and ethnically diverse cities in the United States, according to a new study.

The study, conducted by WalletHub, was released last month to coincide with Black History Month. It found that Vallejo is the 17th most “ethno-racial” and linguistically diverse city in the United States — in large part because Vallejo is the number 1 most ethnically diverse city in the country according to the study.

The study shows that although Vallejo is the most racially and ethnically diverse city in the United States, it ranks 62nd in linguistic diversity and 53rd in birth-place diversity, tying with Kent, Wash. for 17th overall. Being ranked in the top 20 of the most diverse cities in the country is something “Vallejo should be very proud of,” said WalletHub spokeswoman Jill Gonzalez.

Each measured ethnic group comprises about a quarter of the Vallejo’s population, she said. If researchers measured strictly ethnicity for this study, Vallejo would have been ranked No. 1 overall, she said.

WalletHub examined three key metrics to identify the most ethno-racially and linguistically diverse area among 350 of the most populated U.S. cities. These were: racial and ethnic diversity, language diversity and region of birth diversity. Among the study’s key findings, the authors cite “the racial and ethnic diversity is four times higher in Vallejo than in East Los Angeles,” which has the highest concentration of Hispanics or Latinos, at 97.5 percent.

Measuring cities with more than 50,000 population, WalletHub’s 2015’s Cities with the Most & Least Ethno-Racial & Liquistic Diversity study ranked Jersey City, N.J. No. 1, followed by Germantown, Md. and Hayward in Northern California. New York City is fourth, followed by California cities Carson and San Jose, Irving, Texas and Richmond. Also in California, Santa Clara is ninth, and Stockton is 10th.

The country’s least diverse city is Billings, Mont., at No. 350. No California cities are in the study’s bottom 10.

Vallejo artisan Ramona Sampayan said she found some of the study’s findings and their implications fascinating.

“We have such a diverse community there are bound to be a lot of languages, so it’s not unexpected,” she said. “The blending of different races will be interesting to watch.”

Since 2011, more than half of all babies born in the United States have belonged to an ethnic or a racial minority, according to the study. The U.S. Census Bureau projects that by 2043, no single ethnic group will comprise the majority in the U.S.

The “total racial and ethnic minority population (is) projected to increase from 30.9 percent in 2000 to 40.4 percent in 2019.” With that forecast, “it’s ever more imperative to close the racial gaps across U.S. cities to ensure economic prosperity,” the study’s authors said.