While more than six-in-ten Americans (63%) say they would prefer to live in a community made up of people with a mix of political views, compared with a quarter (24%) who would rather live surrounded by people with similar views, communities in the U.S. have in fact become less diverse in recent decades. Pro-political diversity groups include independents (74%), blacks (69%) and people earning more than $100,000 a year (72%), but virtually all groups, to some degree, choose diversity over homogeneity. Despite this stated preference, American communities appear to have grown more politically and economically homogenous. Most notably, nearly half (48%) of all votes for president in 2008 were cast in counties that went either for Obama or McCain by a margin of at least 20 percentage points. Read More

Russell Heimlich  is a former web developer at Pew Research Center.