Diplomas and political power in Stockton

I alluded to a “diploma map” in today’s column about the two Stocktons. Here’s one from UOP’s Business Forecasting Center.

Diploma map

I’ll post the map as a graphic and not a link later. For now, though, you can see the distributions of college degrees in Stockton (the white areas are blanks; the analysts had no data for those areas).

Diplomas cluster in the city’s northwest quadrant.

The implications are numerous. Retailers use sophisticated diploma maps, for instance.  This casts light on the longstanding complaint of many southside residents that the north gets all the good shopping. In the main, the cause is not racism or political failure, as many suspect. Retail follows diplomas because diplomas translate to expendable income.

The political implications are obvious. More money means more campaign finance clout, a higher degree of civic participation, higher voter turnout. Greater political influence, in other words. 


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    Michael Fitzgerald

    Mike Fitzgerald is The Record’s award-winning metro columnist. His column runs in the paper three times a week. Born in San Francisco, he was raised in Stockton. His column covers diverse beats including, sometimes, the offbeat. Read Full
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