Annexation notebook: Bloomington would get a bit less diverse if all additions of territory go through

Thanksgiving marked roughly the halfway point in the 90-day window for remonstrance petitions to be filed against Bloomington’s planned annexations.

That means the Jan. 6, 2022 deadline for remonstration against Bloomington’s annexations is now on the near horizon. In the next couple of weeks, many of the multi-signature sheets that remonstrators have obtained from the county auditor will likely be submitted.

So the potential for successful remonstrance should soon start to become clearer for any of the seven areas that Bloomington wants to annex.

In the meantime, The B Square used results from the 2020 Census, to estimate the changes that Bloomington could see in its racial and ethnic mix, if all of the annexations were to go through as approved by the city council.

If all annexations go through, Bloomington’s non-Hispanic white population would, based on B Square estimates, increase by about one percentage point. The non-Hispanic Black population would see a quarter-point decrease, the same decrease as the Hispanic population overall. And Bloomington’s non-Hispanic Asian population would see a three-quarter-point decrease, if all annexations go through.

Table: Annexation Areas Estimates by Number

2 337 77 124 235 3,161 3,923
3 3 9 14 21 252 299
4 0 10 12 19 305 345
5 52 76 83 97 968 1,274
1A 116 189 201 288 3,561 4,338
1B 212 202 241 390 4,699 5,754
1C 0 7 7 3 74 82
Annex Total 720 570 682 1,053 13,020 16,015
B-town Now 7,111 4,008 4,570 4,402 59,082 79,168

Table: Annexation Areas Estimates by Percent

2 8.57% 1.96% 3.15% 5.97% 80.35% 100.00%
3 1.00% 3.01% 4.68% 7.02% 84.28% 100.00%
4 0.00% 2.89% 3.47% 5.49% 88.15% 100.00%
5 4.08% 5.96% 6.50% 7.60% 75.86% 100.00%
1A 2.66% 4.34% 4.62% 6.61% 81.77% 100.00%
1B 3.69% 3.52% 4.20% 6.79% 81.81% 100.00%
1C 0.00% 7.69% 7.69% 3.30% 81.32% 100.00%
Annex Total 4.49% 3.55% 4.25% 6.56% 81.15% 100.00%
B-town Now 8.98% 5.06% 5.77% 5.53% 74.63% 100.00%

Table: Estimated Bloomington population

B+Annexation 7,831 4,578 5,252 5,455 72,102 95,183
B+Annexation 8.23% 4.81% 5.52% 5.73% 75.75% 100%
Difference -0.75% -0.25% -0.25% 0.17% 1.13%

When the 2020 Census results were released in August, one of the takeaways involved race and ethnicity: The diversity of the population in the country and the state had increased since the previous census taken in 2010.

This animation cycles through plots of each racial/ethnic group separately, including a plot of all groups on the same map. The image links to a larger version of the map.

The increase in the non-white population counted in the 2020 census was attributed by the US Census Bureau in part to some tweaks in the way the census questionnaire asked about race and Hispanic origin. The bureau developed the changes in the years between the decennial census.

What’s apparent from the dot maps is already well established—that much of Bloomington’s diversity stems from its student population.

Clusters of red, green brown, and orange dots are visible in the area of the Indiana University campus.

At the same time, the dot maps make clear that Bloomington’s diversity is not confined to the campus area.


To estimate relevant populations in annexation areas, The B Square started with the smallest geographic area for which the US Census reports data—the census block.

Annexation areas were not necessarily drawn to follow census block boundaries.

To get an estimate of populations in the annexation areas, for each person counted in a census block, one point was plotted at a random location somewhere in the area of the census block.

The shapes for the annexation areas were then overlaid on the plot of dots. The number of dots inside each annexation area were counted, to arrive at an estimate of the population inside the annexation areas.

This analysis is based on a slice of the census data that separates respondents identifying as Hispanic from non-Hispanic white, non-Hispanic Black, non-Hispanic Asian, and non-Hispanic other and muli-racial categories.

That means different races within the Hispanic ethnicity are lumped together as if the Hispanic ethnicity were monolithic with respect to race—which it is not. For background on that issue, see B Square coverage: First annual Monroe County event: “The complexities of the Latino community are tremendous.”

The color scheme for race and ethnicity for dots plotted on the maps included with this article follows the one used for the Racial Dot Map created by University of Virginia’s Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service.

The location of some dots plotted on the maps could appear bizarre—in the middle of a pond or a cemetery, for example. That is an artifact of the way locations for dots are generated—randomly within a census block.

For the same reason, errors in estimates for population numbers could arise. The method treats the distribution of population within a census block as uniform, when they are not.

On the upside, population dot maps can be considered an improvement over more traditional choropleth maps, which shade whole areas of a map to convey information.

Dot maps depict areas that are mostly empty of population in a way that choropleth maps cannot. A dot map conveys an area’s sparseness of population in a stark way: If an area is mostly empty of population, it will be mostly empty of dots, whatever their color.

For the maps created for this article, each dot was assigned less than 100-percent transparency. When dots overlap, that has the effect of making the shade of the color darker.

Large versions of images




One thought on “Annexation notebook: Bloomington would get a bit less diverse if all additions of territory go through

  1. “Less” relative to which base: the part of the expanded Bloomington that was in the city before or the part that was not?

    It’s “less” relative to the one, but “more” relative to the other.

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