The 10 Most (And Least) Diverse States In America For 2024

The states with the highest diversity in 2024 are Hawaii, California, and Nevada according to Saturday Night Science.

Graph Of The Most Diverse States In America

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If you were to draw a line down the middle of the contiguous United States, you’d find a surprising difference in the diversity of the populous.

So, we did draw that line, determine the diversity of every state in America, and came out surprised.

The Southern States of the Union are, with some exceptions, a lot more diverse than the Northern States. The single most diverse state? That would be Hawaii, followed in a distant second by California. Using the Herfindahl-Hirschman Index (HHI), a standard measure of inequality, we ranked each state from most diverse to least diverse.

Map Of The Most Diverse States In America

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Table Of Contents: Top Ten | Methodology | Table

The Most Diverse States In The US For 2024

  1. Hawaii
  2. California
  3. Nevada
  4. Texas
  5. Maryland
  6. New Jersey
  7. New York
  8. Florida
  9. Georgia
  10. Alaska

We found it interesting that Texas is such a staunchly Republican state given its level of diversity. Its diversity is a major reason why many pundits believe Texas will soon go blue.

But enough about politics, let’s take a dive into the science behind the maps and graphs.

For more reading about America, check out:

The 10 Most Diverse States In America For 2024

1. Hawaii

Hawaii takes the diversity cake. Look at these numbers: 36.49% Asian, 24% mixed, 21.04% white, 10.96% Hispanic, 10% Native Hawaiian or Islander and 2% black. There’s also a few Native Americans here too.

Hawaii is interestingly the third most economically diverse state, too – meaning there’s a big gap between the rich and the poor here. And 3% of people in Honolulu are Buddhist. If you’ve ever been to Hawaii, you’d know, this is also a melting pot of cuisine. There’s poke, poi, pineapple, spam musubi, laulau, plate lunch, and of course, shaved ice.

Population: 1,450,589
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
HHI: 2,374
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Hawaii|Hi, HI

Source: Public domain

2. California

Of course, California is diverse. And at the rate things are currently going, California will be atop this list at some point soon. California is currently 35.19% white, 39.68% Hispanic, 14.89% Asian, and 5.34% African American. When you look at this ethnic mix, you can understand why there are more various languages spoken in California households than any other place in America.

While most people assume California’s diversity stems from a hispanic population boom, in fact, it’s the Asian population that’s stemming a majority of the growth here. As such, California has the nation’s highest Chinese population, too. Overall, as you can imagine, California has the most foriegn born residents. 27% of California’s population was born outside of the US.

In West Virginia, that number is 1%.

Population: 39,356,104
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
HHI: 3,078
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California|Ca, CA

Source: Wikipedia User | CC BY-SA 3.0

3. Nevada

What makes Nevada such a diverse place? It’s less than half white for starters. (Hispanics make up nearly a third of the population, and African American and Asian populations are nearly 10%.)

The Las Vegas metro makes up a quarter of this state’s population. Due to the city’s international flair, it’s a big draw for people from all over the world. It has a large Phillipino population, and 5% of Vegas” population is of mixed descent. We won a little bit of money while we were in Vegas, but we lost it all again. Same as it ever was.

Population: 3,104,817
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
HHI: 3,200
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Nevada|Nv, NV

Source: Wikipedia User | CC BY-SA 3.0

4. Texas

Here in Texas, it’s pretty much a white or Hispanic state. 40.12% are white, 39.89% are Hispanic, and the other 20% pretty much black or Asian). Of course, over time, Texas has become very hispanic. Over the last few years, the white birth rate in Texas has shrunk to 33%, and the hispanic birth rate has risen, and is now 47%. But, across America, the birth rate for Hispanic women has fallen by 31 percent in the last ten years. That’s because now, 2 in 3 Hispanic women were born in the US.

Today’s American-born Hispanic women are less likely to be poor and more likely to be educated than their immigrant mothers and grandmothers, and are more often delaying childbearing so they can finish school and start careers. Hence, in many areas of America, the Hispanic population boom is slowing.

Population: 29,243,342
Rank Last Year: 4 (No Change)
HHI: 3,372
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Texas|Tx, TX

Source: Wikipedia User | CC BY 3.0

5. Maryland

It’s time to take a quick flight to Maryland. Maryland is the second least white state we’ll see, after New Mexico. Here, half the population is white. About a third are African American, ~10% are Hispanic, and ~7% are Asian.

Baltimore is the big reason Maryland has such a high black population. Baltimore is 63% black, which makes it the 5th most african americanest city in the country. Going back to 1940, Baltimore was 80% white. That’s a big change.

Maryland also ranks 4th in terms of income diversity. There’s a lot of really rich and really poor people here.

Population: 6,161,707
Rank Last Year: 5 (No Change)
HHI: 3,398
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Maryland|Md, MD

Source: Wikipedia User | CC BY-SA 2.0

6. New Jersey

Here in the Garden State, god planted a lot of different seeds. The racial breakdown is as such, which shows there are actually four major races here, since the Asian population stands at 10%.

New Jersey has America’s largest Italian population. There are also a lot of Jews in New Jersey. 6% of Jew Nersians are of the Jewish American population, good for the 3rd highest population in the US

Population: 9,249,063
Rank Last Year: 6 (No Change)
HHI: 3,516
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New-Jersey|Nj, NJ

Source: Wikipedia User | CC BY-SA 4.0

7. New York

Of course New York is one of the most diverse states. This chart shows just over half of the population is white, and its about 20% Hispanic, 18% black, and nearly 10% Asian. Notice New York is also 2.6% mixed race, which is really high. New York is home to the nation’s largest Dominican population, too.

But New York City alone is what really makes this state so diverse in many ways. Within New York City there are more racial, ethnic and cultural differences than anywhere else in the US. Another interesting fact: 10% of New York City are either Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists or Jewish.

Population: 19,994,379
Rank Last Year: 7 (No Change)
HHI: 3,555
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New-York|Ny, NY

Source: Wikipedia User | CC BY 3.0

8. Florida

Next we pull into Miami International Airport, and Florida, our eighth most diverse state in the union.

In Georgia, it’sthe black population that made it diverse, in Florida, it’s the hispanic and latino population which makes it so varied here. Florida is 51.97% white, 26.52% hispanic and 14.94% African American. That’s a racial stew. Plus, Florida has the nation’s largest Cuban population, which make up 7% of the state’s total population. That’s a lot.

Because of Florida’s high elderly population, it ranks first in the US for generational diversity – meaning the gap between the young and old is the biggest in Florida. That makes for some interesting conversations, I’m sure.

Population: 21,634,529
Rank Last Year: 8 (No Change)
HHI: 3,644
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Florida|Fl, FL

Source: Wikipedia User | GFDL

9. Georgia

As we come in for a landing, we realize where we are, and this is quite a surprise. We’re in Georgia. But when you look at the numbers, it makes sense. Here’s why: In the United States, the racial makeup is as follows: 60% white alone, 18% hispanic, 13% black, 6% asian, and 1% native american. And some other smaller races.

In Georgia, the racial composition is quite different. Here, the African American population is very high – at 31.09%. The White population here is 50.78% and hispanics make up almost 10.06%.

Now, let’s compare that to our least diverse state in America, Maine, where it’s over 90% white. A real big difference.

Population: 10,722,325
Rank Last Year: 9 (No Change)
HHI: 3,675
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Georgia|Ga, GA

Source: Wikipedia User | CC BY-SA 3.0

10. Alaska

Population: 734,821
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 1)
HHI: 3,785
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Alaska|Ak, AK

Source: Wikipedia User | CC BY 2.0

How We Determined The Most Diverse States In The United States For 2024?

We decided to look at racial diversity across America using Saturday Night Science and the most recently available Census data — the 2018-2022 American Community Survey data from the US Census. Specifically, we looked at table B03002: HISPANIC OR LATINO ORIGIN BY RACE. Here are the actual categories as defined by the Census:

  • White alone*
  • Black or African American alone*
  • American Indian and Alaska Native alone*
  • Asian alone*
  • Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander alone*
  • Some other race alone*
  • Two or more races*
  • Hispanic or Latino
* Not hispanic or latino

We then calculated the HHI for each state by taking the percent of each of the above for the state, squaring them, and then adding it together. This left us with scores ranging from 2,374 (Hawaii) to 8,378 (Vermont).

Finally, we ranked each state based on the HHI with a lower score being more diverse than a high score. Hawaii took the distinction of being the most diverse, while Vermont was the least diverse state in America.

We updated this report for 2024. This report is our tenth time ranking the most diverse states in the United States.

Summary: The Most Diverse States For 2024

After measuring the HHI of every state, these states came out on top with Hawaii as being the state that is the most diverse.

The most diverse states in the United States are Hawaii, California, Nevada, Texas, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Florida, Georgia, and Alaska.

The least diverse states in the United States are Vermont, Maine, West Virginia, New Hampshire, Montana, Iowa, Kentucky, North Dakota, Wyoming, and South Dakota.

For more reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Most Diverse States In The US For 2024

Rank State HHI
1 Hawaii 2,374
2 California 3,078
3 Nevada 3,200
4 Texas 3,372
5 Maryland 3,398
6 New Jersey 3,516
7 New York 3,555
8 Florida 3,644
9 Georgia 3,675
10 Alaska 3,785
11 New Mexico 3,829
12 Arizona 3,887
13 Illinois 4,096
14 Virginia 4,104
15 Delaware 4,207
16 Louisiana 4,335
17 North Carolina 4,350
18 Oklahoma 4,361
19 Mississippi 4,516
20 Connecticut 4,519
21 Washington 4,612
22 South Carolina 4,674
23 Alabama 4,888
24 Colorado 4,911
25 Massachusetts 5,008
26 Arkansas 5,173
27 Rhode Island 5,211
28 Tennessee 5,575
29 Oregon 5,615
30 Michigan 5,638
31 Kansas 5,721
32 Pennsylvania 5,739
33 Nebraska 6,116
34 Indiana 6,120
35 Utah 6,127
36 Minnesota 6,149
37 Ohio 6,150
38 Missouri 6,183
39 Wisconsin 6,489
40 Idaho 6,596
41 South Dakota 6,600
42 Wyoming 6,933
43 North Dakota 6,941
44 Kentucky 7,019
45 Iowa 7,097
46 Montana 7,221
47 New Hampshire 7,827
48 West Virginia 8,242
49 Maine 8,375
50 Vermont 8,378

For more reading about America, check out:

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.