Patchwork Nation aims to explore what is happening in the United States by examining different kinds of communities over time. Last year, the organization received its second Knight Foundation grant to extend its system of county-by-county demographic breakdowns to individual congressional districts.
"We analyzed reams of demographic, economic, cultural, and political data to break the nation's 3,141 counties into 12 statistically distinct 'types of places,'' said Dante Chinni and James Gimpel, the project's founders and authors of Our Patchwork Nation. "When we look at family income over the past 30 years through that prism, the full picture of the income divide becomes clearer'and much starker."
The mapping project presents the data in a captivating and digestible way, and also allows journalists to report more accurately on political events like the upcoming 2012 presidential election.
Said Eric Newton, Senior Adviser to the President at Knight, "There's no doubt there are serious implications to this information, we'll just have to wait and see who takes notice."
For more on how Knight Foundation advances quality journalism to promote informed and engaged communities visit www.knightfoundation.org.