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I thought this would be a cool thread to discuss 'diversity'. It seems like 'diversity' is increasingly becoming a buzzword and that its meaning is now increasingly dumbed down to having 'lots of brown people'.

But there are lots of forms of racial diversity and this thread is aimed at parsing through which countries excel at which forms of diversity. So, here's my views on which countries are the most diverse by metric:

Ethnic Diversity
Ethnic diversity is best described as diversity within racial subsets. So a country like Mexico is ethnically diverse because its ethnic mix includes lots of Mesoamerican tribes. Though both Austria and Switzerland are white, Austria is overwhelmingly of Germanic stock while Switzerland has a lot more ethnic diversity (having French and Italian stock as well)

Winner: Papua New Guinea

Ideological Diversity
How diverse are values, norms and cultural mores within a country. This one is probably super tricky to measure but what countries have the largest spectrum not just in terms of political and economic philosophies (Socialism, Communism, Capitalism) but social issues (women's rights, gay rights, religious rights).

Winner: A very loaded metric but I'll say France (a spectrum that includes everything from left-wing radicals to right-wing nativists)

Lingustic Diversity
Pretty straight-forward. Not just the quantity of languages spoken in a country but how few dominant languages there are. The USA might have every language in the world but there is a dominant language (English). I think the US therefore is less linguistically diverse than a country like Nigeria where there are much fewer languages spoken than the US but there is no dominant language and the 'market share' of the most dominant language is like 20%

Winner: India

Mixed Diversity
What proportion of the population is of mixed racial or ethnic backgrounds. Anthropologists use the word 'miscegenation'. So which countries win on this metric?

Winner: Brazil

Racial Diversity
Probably the most commonly perceived form of diversity. Most people gauge this as the proportion of a population that is brown. I think that's erroneous. A country that is 100% black is just as racially homogenous as one that's 100% white. So which countries have the biggest mix of races (which itself is an amorphous concept but we can go with the traditional: white, black, East Asian, South Asian, Amerindian/mestizo)

Winner: United States of America

Religious Diversity
Not just the number of religions practiced in a country but the lack of a dominant faith. A country like India might have every religion present in its boundaries but there is one main faith (Hinduism).

Winner: Singapore (a tough call)

Socioeconomic Diversity
Not just Gini Index numbers but which country has a diverse socioeconomic population. A country that has lots of rich people and no poor is not diverse in this metric (sorry Norway). Likewise a country with almost all poor is not diverse (even if the wealth is overwhelmingly concentrated in the rich). Which country has a diverse share of extreme poverty, working class poverty, middle class, upper class and very wealthy peoples?

Winner: China

Countries that do well in overall diversity but are not at the top of the list in any particular category: Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Guyana, Indonesia, Iran, Mauritius, Nigeria, Panama, Philippines, South Africa, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Venezuela

Any other forms of diversity I'm missing? Any country that should have been named a winner in any category above?
 

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In the case of Mixed diversity, I think Venezuela, Colombia or Panama are more than Brazil, because Brazil is a little bit more segregated, northwest amerindians, north east blacks, center mestizos and south whites. Here in Venezuela, per example, is imposible to separate regions from races.
 

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Ideological diversity? France? Don't make me laugh.

I live in a country where 85% of people support the decriminalization of marijuana and 80% support the right to spank children. We have baptists claiming that they can choose to be gay if they wish and people introducing euthanasia bills into Parliament.
 

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^^ Canada would be at the top or near the top in every category he listed except ideological diversity. We buy into an informal social contract when we move here and recognize that the whole thing would fall apart without it (equality, tolerance, inclusion, respect for others, etc.). Adhering to Canadian values is one of the things that binds us together.

Canadian social values trump all others when there's a conflict. For example if someone said it was their religious belief that homosexuality is a sin or Black people are inferior, it would not be tolerated. Tolerance doesn't mean we tolerate those who are intolerant, disrespectful, or hold racist views.

We'd be weak in social economic diversity as well... but that's a good thing imo.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
In the case of Mixed diversity, I think Venezuela, Colombia or Panama are more than Brazil, because Brazil is a little bit more segregated, northwest amerindians, north east blacks, center mestizos and south whites. Here in Venezuela, per example, is imposible to separate regions from races.
Yeah, I noted Panama and Venezuela as 'honorable mentions' below. I'm guessing there's a lot more mestizo in Panama and Venezuela than in Brazil where there's a lot more mulattos. Panama also has a lot of zambos too. What percentage of Venezuela is mixed? The whole Caribbean is very mixed. Dominicans don't even know if they're black, white, Taino, or mulatto.
 

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Mestizos are also a majority in Ecuador, IIRC.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I would say Canada is one of the most racially diverse country as well.
Of the Western countries, definitely near the top. Compared to Latin America or parts of Asia, then no. Here's the Big 4 English-speaking countries for example:

Australia (couldn't find a solid source):
74% White (includes West Asians/Arabs)
12% Asian (both East and South)
3% African (includes North Africans)
3% Aboriginal

Canada:
79% White (includes West Asians/Arabs)
12% Asian (both East and South)
4% Aboriginal
3% Black
1% Hispanic/Latin American
1% Mixed

United Kingdom:
87% White
7% Asian
3% Black
3% Mixed

United States of America:
62% White (includes West Asians/Arabs)
17% Hispanic/Latin America
13% Black
5% Asian
2% Mixed
1% American Indian/Alaska Native
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Mestizos are also a majority in Ecuador, IIRC.
Mestizos are a majority everywhere from Mexico down to Peru. 15 of the 20 Latin countries are mestizo majority. But even within those 15 the mestizo-ness is variable. Mestizos in Panama are darker than those in Colombia or Costa Rica and Mestizos in Mexico, Guatemala, and Peru have more 'Indigenous' features. Mestizos in the Dominican Republic are practically black. The majority of Chileans are technically mestizo (in that they have Amerindian lineage) but most consider themselves white because the European proportion is much greater than in Venezuela, for instance. So even within mestizos, there is a spectrum of diversity that's hard to parse.
 
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It's unfair to compare countries like that, because countries are of different sizes & population number.

It's unfair to say India is more diverse than Sri Lanka linguistically ,because India has landmass & population number advantages.
 

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In ranking countries like this, we should always consider size of country & population number.

Am more interested to know which country is most diverse considering its relatively small size & its small population number.
 

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If language was the main criteria it would be Papua New Guinea.

For small countries, Bosnia (and the other bit beginning with H) and Lebanon must be candidates.
 

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Discussion Starter #15

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Another factor is mixing of different identities. If the diversity is organised in a patch work of regional identities with little mixing is it reasonable to talk about a country being diverse?

Note the point here is hypothetical, not referring to any particular country. I think it is something that should be considered and could deal with the big country bias.
 

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Would the different groups in that map of India be comparable to different European groups in Canada, the US, Australia, and New Zealand?
 

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Another factor is mixing of different identities. If the diversity is organised in a patch work of regional identities with little mixing is it reasonable to talk about a country being diverse?

Note the point here is hypothetical, not referring to any particular country. I think it is something that should be considered and could deal with the big country bias.
Interesting that you bring that up, because Indian cities are microcosms. They are patchworks of neighbourhoods with migrants from different parts of the country with very different beliefs, customs, attitudes etc. As a comparison think of Norwegians, Somali farmers, Central African hunters, Chinese factory workers and Russians miners all inhabiting the same city with the same cultures as their counterparts back home. That's why Indian cities are so chaotic and disorganized : There is very little in common and very little sense of community. The road is like outer space ; it belongs to nobody.

And that's just regional differences. I didn't even consider different caste cultures within the same region.

The 'diversity' that is shown in pictures like the one at the top of this thread is pretty misleading. Most of these people have to varying degrees, assimilated within the dominant culture or been exposed to western culture. They have a lot more in common with their current country than with their ancestors.
 

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Of the Western countries, definitely near the top. Compared to Latin America or parts of Asia, then no. Here's the Big 4 English-speaking countries for example:

Australia (couldn't find a solid source):
74% White (includes West Asians/Arabs)
12% Asian (both East and South)
3% African (includes North Africa)
Those are surely wrong. Australia collects origin statistics, which hint at some 84-85% white, 10-11% Asian, 5% others as of 2011, though they are not explicit as such.

As for Canada, what I think really makes it stand out from the rest of the Anglo 5 is its bilingual nature.
 
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