Income Distribution of Voters in New York by Ethnicity

by Eimar Boesjes on December 5, 2013

in Bing Maps, New York, Registered Voters Data

The image below shows the income distribution of registered voters in New York State by ethnicity.   The bar charts show the state income deciles for different ethnic groups whereas the map shows the estimated income of voters in absolute numbers.  

Income Distribution of Voters in New York by Ethnicity Income Distribution of Voters in New York by Ethnicity

To create the data Labels & Lists collected all the registered voters in NY and then did a detailed name analysis to determine the country of origin of each voter.  The ethnic coding process is described here.  You can explore the ethnicity of all voters in New York and the US yourself at  Using Census Data, Moonshadow Mobile mapped the average state income decile of each census block onto all voters.  We then created graphs showing the relative income distribution within each ethnic group.  We also obtained absolute income data on 40% of the registered voters.  The absolute income levels are shown on the map.

Each chart shows ten colored bars: one for each income decile .  The top bar in light yellow shows the population in the lowest 10% of the income levels in the state.  The bottom bar in deep red shows the group with in the 90-100% income decile.  The charts show interesting information about the different ethnic groups.  If an ethnic group has relatively larger bars at the top in light yellow then the group is relatively poor.  If it has relatively larger bars in the middle then it’s income levels are over represented in the mid category.  If a group has relatively larger bars in deep red at the bottom, then the group as a whole has done well and has higher income levels.

The upper left chart shows the data as you would expect it for the entire population.  The distribution is relatively even.  There are as many voters in each income decile.  The reason that it is not exactly even is that this data represents voters.  Higher incomes are more likely to register than lower incomes which is exactly what this chart shows.  The red bars at the bottom are slightly longer than the yellow bars at the top. 

Now on to the interesting stuff.  For ‘English/Welsh’ the upper incomes are much more represented than the lower incomes.  Not so surprising since this is the dominant group that settled in New York the earliest.  For Hispanics there is a large middle group but an underrepresentation in the upper income deciles.  Also to be expected.  This group has been in New York state less long and new immigrants usually start at the bottom of the social pyramid.  Italians have an even distribution.  The fact that they have been here longer apparently has not helped them.  Surprisingly, registered African American voters are doing relatively better than the Italians.  They have smaller bars in the lowest income levels.

Now move on to the Irish.  This group has a much larger percentage in the lowest 40% income levels than the Scots or the English.  Why is this?  They have been in New York for a long time.  They speak English.  I don’t know but I assume many are descendants of immigrants that emigrated to America after the Irish Potato Famine.  I can hardly imagine that would still have an effect 150 years later.  Religious discrimination of Catholics doesn’t explain it either.  The Polish and French groups both have much higher percentages of their population in the upper income deciles.

Some minority groups have done surprisingly well.  The Scotts, French and Dutch all have much longer bars in the top 30% then in the bottom 30%.  The German and Polish Americans have a large percentage in the top 30% but also have significant group in the lowest 30%.  Both seem underrepresented in the middle income categories.

The map does not show state income deciles but the actual income levels for the 40% of the voters for which we had income data.  We see that almost all cities show a poor core in yellow with red suburbs around it.  Manhattan, of course, is the exception.  Just north of Manhattan the Bronx and Harlem are yellow with lower income levels and so is Brooklyn.  In New York City the really affluent areas are much further from the city core than in other areas.  Westchester is a deep red and so are parts of Long Island.




Previous post:

Next post: