PARKERSBURG - A new study completed by Penn State University professors has determined the Mid-Ohio Valley is the among the least ethnic diverse areas in the country.
According to a new study funded by the Russell Sage Foundation, the Parkersburg-Vienna-Marietta area is among the least diverse areas in the United States.
The Parkersburg-Vienna-Marietta area is 96 percent white, according to the study, and is the second least diverse area in the country. The Mid-Ohio Valley was topped only by Laredo, Texas, which is almost 96 percent Hispanic.
Other areas, including Wheeling, 94 percent white; Huntington-Ashland, 94 percent white; and Weirton-Steubenville. 93 percent white; were also among the top 10 least diverse areas of the country. Charleston also made the list.
Barry Lee and his colleague John Iceland, both from Penn State University, conducted the study based on 2010 U.S. Census data and other sources of information to review American life and communities. The study looked at diversity among whites, blacks, Asians and others, such as Native Americans.
The study was funded by the Russell Sage Foundation. According to its website, the Russell Sage Foundation was established in 1907 for the improvement of social and living conditions in the United States.
"The foundation now dedicates itself exclusively to strengthening the methods, data and theoretical core of the social sciences as a means of diagnosing social problems and improving social policies," the site states.
The study found burgeoning Hispanic and Asian populations have contributed to a major transformation, reducing the number of all-white places and increasing the number of minority-majority and non-majority ones.
Vallejo, Calif., is found to be the most diverse area in the country. According to the study, less than 41 percent of its population is white, compared to almost 25 percent Hispanic, 15 percent Asian and about 14 percent black. The top three most diverse areas area all in California, followed by the Washington, D.C.,-Arlington area, which includes portions of West Virginia.
The study concluded over the last 30 years the nation has become more ethnically diverse. Many of the most diverse areas of the country are the south, the coastal areas, traditional gateway areas, according to Lee.