Just how segregated is D.C.? Sure, there’s no shortage of think tank reports and concerned white papers that answer that question. But it’s one thing to know about segregation in the abstract; it’s another to see it depicted visually. Which is precisely what Eric Fischer has done with data from the 2000 Census. Prompted by a map of Chicago produced by cartographer Bill Rankin, Fischer  drew up maps of racial housing patterns in D.C. and 39 other cities. You can see above, as Fast Company noted in writing up the maps, that the District and its surrounding region “has a stark east/west divide between white and black.”

Reading the almost cheerful map is simple:”Red is White, Blue is Black, Green is Asian, Orange is Hispanic, Gray is Other, and each dot is 25 people.”

The demographics it represents, though, are a decade old. When this year’s Census is finally crunched, the map may look different—more green near Rockville, for instance, and more orange in the inner-ring suburbs in both Maryland and Virginia.

There is also likely to be a little less blue in the District. As gentrification churns on, that small erasure will do nothing to ease the fears of a black community that already feels under attack in a city whose rising cost of living makes hanging on difficult.

In August, Harry Jaffe used his Examiner column to once again scoff at a conspiracy theory that has become known as “the Plan”:

“The Plan” is a persistent conspiracy theory among many blacks in the District. It assumes that whites have had a plan to take back the nation’s capital city since the advent of home rule in the 1970s, when the city started electing blacks to local office. The white power structure is bent on moving blacks out and whites in, and it will always control the levers of power.
But if such paranoia seems  laughable,  it reflects a reality that’s easily illustrated in bright colors.
Image by Eric Fischer via Flickr under Creative Commons license