Dresses & Yarn

30. Low femme fat lady of color. Living in a small town between a lake, mountains, and the Canadian border. Midwestern girl at heart. Always keeping busy.


Sociological Images posted this really amazing link to an interactive site that allows you to view information for every county in the United States. So I looked at county I grew up in (Johnson County, Kansas) and two of the other counties that make up Kansas City that I lived in as an adult.

What’s notable about where I grew up is that it’s median income level is double the surrounding counties (which is not surprising. In fact, many of my high school classmates had families that made double the median income, if not more.) and also pops up when you click to only show wealthy counties. The percent of Johnson Countians with college degrees is also consistently double the national average as far back as the data is available. The number of minorities with college degrees is also higher than in surrounding counties (thank you public school. This is definitely a privilege I benefited from).

What was really interesting to me was the data confirming what I have always believed: that until about ten years ago, Johnson County was overwhelmingly white but the Latino population has more than doubled.

That said, Wyandotte County, which I grew up just a few minutes from, is completely different. The ethnic make up is much more diverse, the percent of people with college degrees is much less, and the median income is closer to what my family worked with. I think this information partially explains why I felt way more at home in my neighborhood in Wyandotte than JoCo.

Lastly, viewing the data made me feel like I’m actually in the majority when I say that neither my parents nor my grandparents went to college. My perception of how many people attended college prior to the 1990s is skewed thanks to attending a school populated by upper-middle class public schools and primarily white private colleges.