California Counties and the States They Resemble

Few states compare to California’s racial and ethnic diversity. Within California, though, some counties more closely resemble some of the other 49 states. The map illustrates counties’ closest state matches, based on calculating the cosine similarity of states’ and counties’ racial and ethnic make-ups. Click here to learn more about cosine similarity. Source: 2012-2016 American Community Survey 5-year estimates, Table DP05, DRU tabulations.

Hover over a county to see its corresponding state matches. Click on a county to see a race/ethnicity distribution comparison with its closest matching state. Click outside of the map to reset the table to the California race/ethnicity distribution.

Note: The race/ethnic distributions used in the calculation include the population in group quarters (or GQ, denoting shared living arrangements). In some counties, the demography of the GQ population is significantly different than the population in households, which affects the comparison in cases where a significant proportion of the county’s total population lives in GQ. The population estimates can be downloaded as a csv file.

Last Update: April 2020