U.S. Department of Commerce
 Housing Patterns


Multi-Group Entropy Index


There are three sets of residential-pattern indicators for 1980, 1990, and 2000.

  1. The highlighted measure is the “mulitgroup entropy index,” which is also known as the multigroup version of Theil’s H or the information theory index. This is a measure of “evenness.” The dual-group entropy index was included in the 2002 report by Iceland, Weinberg, and Steinmetz. In that report, the entropy index indicated the segregation of each of several groups (Blacks, Hispanics, Asians and Pacific Islanders, and American Indians and Alaska Natives) from non-Hispanic Whites.

  2. “Diversity” scores are also available; these are used in the calculation of the multigroup entropy index. A diversity score measures the extent to which several groups are present in a metropolitan area, regardless of their distribution across census tracts.

  3. Dual-group entropy indexes are included here, where the reference group consists of all people not of the main group in question. Two-group entropy indexes are computed for Non-Hispanic Whites, Non-Hispanic African Americans, Non-Hispanic Asians and Pacific Islanders, Non-Hispanic American Indians and Alaska Natives, Non-Hispanics of other races, and Hispanics.


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Contact the HHES Information area at 301-763-3242 or visit ask.census.gov for further information on Housing Patterns Data.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Housing and Household Economic Statistics Division
Last Revised: September 30, 2011