If you were asked to name America’s most diverse, all emoji-encompassing city, what would your initial guess be? Perhaps the melting pot that is New York, with its diverse fashion and restaurants (which will soon include a Golden Girls Cafe). Or maybe Los Angeles, with its vast array of arts and culture? No matter your pick, chances are you would lean towards one of the country’s biggest cities and would one that’s quintessentially East or West Coast. Right? Yeah, us too. Except we’d all be totally wrong.
As unbelievable as it may sound, the most diverse city in the US is actually found in beautiful (if absolutely frigid on occasion) Alaska. That’s right: ALASKA! The nation’s top honors go to a little town named Mountain View, just miles northeast of Anchorage. It may only be home to 7,000 people, but what it lacks in numbers it makes up for in diversity.
Chad Farrell, a sociologist and demographer at the University of Alaska Anchorage (the man in charge of analyzing the city’s census numbers) found that “Native Americans, whites, blacks, Latinos, Asians, and people identifying as biracial are all present in Mountain View, in relatively similar proportions,” a fact he shared with Smithsonian magazine.
So how does a place so seemingly remote form such an impressive blend of cultures? According to Smithsonian Magazine, it’s a mix of good job opportunities, affordable housing and the Elmendorf-Richardson military base being located nearby. Combine all of these elements and you have folks arriving from all around the world to call the picturesque Mountain View home.
Smithsonian writer, Kirsten Swann, who lives in Mountain View herself, offers a fascinating glimpse into what life is like in such a diverse town. TBH it sounds pretty perfect. “On my street, reggaeton music blares from car speakers on summer nights, and locals include an old poet who built some of the first houses on the street in the 1940s, a Somali couple that runs the neighborhood African market, and a man who migrated to America to escape government corruption in Peru,” she writes.
Pretty idyllic, no? But before you pack your bags and hop on the next flight, make sure you’re prepped and ready. The average winter temperature in January is -14°.
Maybe just a visit in the summertime would be nice…
Are you surprised by this fascinating find? Tweet us @BritandCo.
(h/t Hello Giggles, photo via Lance King/Getty)