Why did Provo come in last in diversity survey?
Regarding BYU Professor Rugh’s presentation to the Provo Municipal Council and the council’s reaction to the survey by internet website WalletHub that ranked Provo as the least diverse city in the United States, I was surprised to read that no one examined the question, "Why did Provo come in last?" Did everyone simply accept the conclusion as some kind of fact, that Provo is among the “least diverse” cities in America? How exactly did the survey reach this conclusion?
Even a cursory review of the underlying methodology and data on the wallethub.com website shows why this is a survey that Provo will never rank highly in. Why? Because the largest single factor in the survey, with 20 points out of 100, is “Religious Diversity,” in which Provo (and Orem) scored dead last! Both cities were ranked “500” out of 500 (an apparent tie).
Other categories significantly affecting Provo’s rankings were “Economic Diversity,” meaning variety of industries, in which Provo ranked 469, and “Household Diversity,” meaning the marital status and makeup of households, in which Provo ranked 479.
As for “Socio-Economic Diversity” and “Cultural Diversity,” which includes Racial and Ethnic Diversity, Provo ranked 223 and 230, respectively – in other words, better than average! This certainly sounds more like the Provo we all know and love.
Although we can always do more to make Provo a warm and welcoming place to all, we should never be ashamed of our households, industries or the dominant religion in the area. This particular survey’s conclusion is reminiscent of BYU’s consistent dead-last ranking as a party school – “stone cold sober” – something many take pride in. Look at the data and rankings for yourself at https://wallethub.com/edu/most-diverse-cities/12690.
-- Sullivan Richardson, Springville