Mapping Inequality

University of Richmond Digital Scholarship Lab

Redlining in New Deal America

Mapping Inequality brings one of the country’s most important archives to the public. The federal Home Owners’ Loan Corporation (HOLC) staff members, using data and evaluations organized by local real estate professionals—lenders, developers, and real estate appraisers—in each city, assigned grades to residential neighborhoods that reflected their “mortgage security” that would then be visualized on color-coded maps. The HOLC’s documents contain a wealth of information about how government officials, lenders, and real estate interests surveyed and ensured the economic health of American cities. And with the help of ongoing research, we continue to learn at what cost such measures were realized.
Cleveland Data are available for download.

Robert K. Nelson, LaDale Winling, Richard Marciano, Nathan Connolly, et al., “Mapping Inequality,” American Panorama, ed. Robert K. Nelson and Edward L. Ayers.

Not Even Past: Social Vulnerability

This site juxtaposes these maps from the 1930s with contemporary health disparities. In most cities, you will see striking similarities between redlining eighty years ago and health disparities today. This is a testament to the long-lasting impact of racial segregation and redlining in shaping the enduring contours of marked inequality in American cities.
(See also the NCRC’s redlining maps, analysis of redlining and health, and its project, Tracing the Legacy of Redlining)

CDC PLACES: Local Data for Better Health


PLACES provides health data for small areas across the country. This allows local health departments and jurisdictions, regardless of population size and rurality, to better understand the burden and geographic distribution of health measures in their areas and assist them in planning public health interventions.
CDC Data Sets are available for download.

Environmental Justice Screening and Mapping Tool


EJScreen is based on nationally consistent data and an approach that combines environmental and demographic indicators in maps and reports.
EJScreen Data are available for download.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Cleveland City Data

By collecting and analyzing data from a variety of government and private sources, is able to create detailed, informative profiles for every city in the United States, from crime rates to weather patterns. City-Data has been featured in 121 books, on CNN, WABC in New York, Bay News 9 in Tampa Bay and USA Today’s Hot Sites.
The site also contains a Neighborhood Map.

Healthy Northeast Ohio

This site is a neutral data repository for population health that provides access to population health data, evidence-based practices, and information about regional health resources and activities. Healthy Northeast Ohio invites planners, policy makers, and community stakeholders to use the site as a tool for community assessment, strategic planning, identifying best practices for improvement, collaboration, and advocacy.
Search and Browse HealthyNEO’s data sets.

The Lasting Legacy of Redlining

It’s been over 80 years since the lines were drawn and over 50 years since the use of redlining was legally banned, but the impact of redlining is still felt in cities like Cleveland, where redlined neighborhoods are some of the most starkly segregated in the country.
Data can be downloaded from GitHub.

Ryan Best and Elena Mejía, “The Lasting Legacy of Redlining,” FiveThirtyEight, February 9, 2022. Available at

Other Data-driven Projects

Undesign the Redline

This interactive exhibit, workshop series and curriculum explores the history of structural racism and inequality, how these designs compounded each other from 1938 Redlining maps until today, and how WE can come together to undesign these systems with intentionality.

Financial Health & Wealth

An illustration of financial well-being at the local level by race and ethnicity—looking beyond income to include credit, debt, savings, assets, and wealth.
See also the Urban Institute’s Project, Mapping the Black Homeownership Gap

Devaluation of Black Assets

Through the prism of the real estate market and homeownership in Black neighborhoods, this report attempts to address the question: What is the cost of racial bias? This report seeks to understand how much money majority-Black communities are losing in the housing market stemming from racial bias, finding that owner-occupied homes in Black neighborhoods are undervalued by $48,000 per home on average, amounting to $156 billion in cumulative losses.

Multi-Res Land Characteristics

A group of federal agencies who coordinate and generate consistent and relevant land cover information at the national scale for a wide variety of environmental, land management, and modeling applications.
MRLC Data are available for download.

Environmental Racism

Residents of formerly redlined neighborhoods exhibit worse health, to this day, for birth outcomes, prevalence of chronic disease, health care utilization because of asthma, and cancer stage at diagnosis; and formerly redlined neighborhoods have more environmental hazards and fewer environmental amenities than other neighborhoods within the same city. To allow users to systematically investigate these disparities across multiple environmental domains, we provide an interactive interface to compare levels of a broad variety of environmental factors within historical redlining map boundaries.

Project Implicit

The mission of Project Implicit is to educate the public about bias and to provide a “virtual laboratory” for collecting data on the internet. Project Implicit scientists produce high-impact research that forms the basis of our scientific knowledge about bias and disparities.

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