Chicago Information Deserts

You may have read my post over at Libraries and Transliteracy where I introduce the concept of information deserts.  Well I have been conducting some research on information deserts in Chicago, and I thought I would share some of my initial findings:

Of the 843 census tracts considered, 237 are considered information deserts.  The deserts are home to 776,729 residents.  In other words, about 27% of Chicago’s population lives within an information desert.   The southern part of Chicago has the vast majority of information deserts.

Some racial and ethnic groups are far more likely to live in an information desert.   African-Americans are the most likely to live in an information desert compared to whites or Latinos.   467,373 African-Americans live in an information desert compared to the 72,515 whites.


I still have some more research to do, but the study revealed some interesting findings.  I did not think that so many people lived in such information poverty right here in Chicago.

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2 Comments

Filed under digital divide, information activist, information deserts

2 responses to “Chicago Information Deserts

  1. martinez

    This was in the NYT the other day, http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/21/us/21food.html?_r=1&scp=2&sq=food&st=cse regarding a committment from retailers to try to combat the problem of *food* deserts.
    Is there an anagolous stopgap solution to the problem of information deserts?

  2. Thanks Paul! I would hope that libraries and public computing centers could help. Chicago has undertaken some good programs to help. See http://mayor.cityofchicago.org/mayor/en/press_room/press_releases/2010/july_2010/city_has_received.html for an example.

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