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Mapping and Analyzing Race and Ethnicity

Activity Description

Students will use the Census Data Mapper data access tool to map, visualize, and analyze the geographic distribution of various races and ethnicities in the United States.

Suggested Grade Level


Approximate Time Required

60–75 minutes

Learning Objectives

  • Students will be able to compare, contrast, and describe the geographic distribution of races and ethnicities in the United States.
  • Students will be able to speculate what factors might have influenced the spatial concentration of racial or ethnic groups in specific geographic areas.

Materials Required

  • The student version of this activity, 21 pages; it contains images that should be printed in color.
  • Teacher computer with Internet access and a projector to display web sites

A computer with Internet access for each student is preferred but optional.

Activity Items

The following items are part of this activity. Items, their sources, and any relevant instructions for viewing them online appear at the end of this teacher version.

  • Largest Ancestry, 2000
  • "Analyzing the Distribution of Race and Ethnicity in the United States" Presentation

This activity also uses the following online tool:

  • Census Data Mapper

Teacher Notes

Blooms Taxonomy

Blooms Taxonomy

Students will create thematic maps to compare, contrast, and describe different race or ethnicity concentrations and distributions in the United States.


High School Geography


  • Choropleth maps
  • Migration
  • Political geography
  • Race and ethnicity

Skills Taught

  • Comparing and contrasting data
  • Creating maps
  • Reading and interpreting maps
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