In Boston, diversity is a mixed bag

Suffolk County has become steadily more integrated during the past two decades, with residents now having about a 50-50 chance of living next to someone racially different from themselves, according to an analysis of census data.

Pockets of Boston, however, remain starkly isolated, due to geography, tradition, or persistent socioeconomic conditions. In City Point, the overwhelmingly white neighborhood on the tip of the South Boston peninsula, residents have only a 3 percent chance of living next to someone of a different race.

The diversity index, developed by demographers and widely used to calculate racial mixing, uses responses from the US Census to calculate the probability that two people, chosen at random from a geographic area, are of a different race. The Globe analysis calculated a diversity ranking for each of Suffolk County’s 204 census tracts — areas with roughly 2,000 to 5,000 residents each.

In 1990, there was a 34 percent likelihood that a Suffolk County resident would live beside someone of a different race. In 2000, that figure rose to 48 percent and now, according to the 2010 figures released earlier this year, to 52 percent.

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