Large U.S. Cities and Tolerance

How America's biggest metro areas stack up.

Image
Reuters

Yesterday, I wrote about the geography of tolerance, providing a map and top 20 ranking for U.S. metros on three variables that help us measure tolerance—the share of immigrants or foreign-born residents, the Gay Index (the concentration of gays and lesbians), and the Integration Index, which tracks the level of segregation between ethnic and racial groups.

My ranking included large metros as well as smaller ones like Ithaca and Ann Arbor. I noted that:

Many of these smaller metros are college towns that are home to large concentrations of professional, technical and knowledge workers from diverse backgrounds, which lead to higher levels of ethnic and racial integration than larger metros, where economic differences are often greater.

Some commenters wondered about rankings just among America's largest metros. The list below shows the top 20 U.S. metros with populations of one million people or more.

Top 20 Large Metros (over one million people) on the Tolerance Index:

Tolerance Rank Metro Tolerance Score Tolerance Rank (Overall) Gay/Lesbian Rank Foreign Born Rank Integration Index Rank
1 San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, CA .75 1 20 16 1
2 Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Miami Beach, FL .69 11 74 1 161
3 Las Vegas-Paradise, NV .69 15 83 23 1
4 Portland-Vancouver-Beaverton, OR-WA .68 16 7 63 189
5 San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, CA .68 17 1 6 317
6 Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, MA-NH .68 20 13 44 227
7 Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA .67 22 12 46 238
8 Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ .67 23 60 42 160
9 Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, CA .66 24 70 3 234
10 Orlando, FL .66 27 40 45 216
11 Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV .65 30 35 28 283
12 Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA .64 32 36 20 306
13 Austin-Round Rock, TX .64 34 17 50 295
14 Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, CT .63 37 91 65 135
15 Sacramento-Arden-Arcade-Roseville, CA .63 38 26 41 314
16 Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, GA .62 42 30 57 298
17 Dallas -Fort Worth-Arlington, TX .61 47 80 35 260
18 Denver-Aurora, CO .61 48 24 59 328
19 Rochester, NY .60 50 44 138 140
20 Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI .59 53 53 90 233


Six large metros made the original top 20 I posted yesterday: San Diego, Miami, Las Vegas, Portland, San Francisco, and Boston. In addition to these, Seattle, Phoenix, L.A., and Orlando round out the top 10 large metros on the Tolerance Index. Washington, D.C., is 11th and Minneapolis-St.Paul, which as a commenter noted has large Mexican, Hmong, Somali, and Native American populations as well as being gay-friendly, is 20th. New York is 22nd, Chicago 25th among large metros.

Photo credit: Mike Blake/Reuters

About the Author

  • Richard Florida is Co-founder and Editor at Large of CityLab.com and Senior Editor at The Atlantic. He is director of the Martin Prosperity Institute at the University of Toronto and Global Research Professor at NYU. More
    Florida is author of The Rise of the Creative ClassWho's Your City?, and The Great Reset. He's also the founder of the Creative Class Group, and a list of his current clients can be found here