In 2012, the Pew Research Center released a report called the “Rise of Residential Segregation by Income,” featuring the Residential Income Segregation Index, or RISI.
The RISI “is the cumulative share of lower-income households living in a majority lower-income census tract combined with the share of upper-income households living in a majority upper-income census tract.” Lower-income is defined as making less than $34,000/year, while upper-income is defined as making more than $104,000/year.
A high RISI score means that wealthy residents have primarily wealthy neighbors, and less well-off residents have less well-off neighbors, leading to little daily interaction between economic classes. High RISI scores can be attributed to a myriad of factors, “including housing policies, zoning laws, real estate practices, and migration trends.”
Where San Antonio ranked
San Antonio-New Braunfels ranked #1 out of the 30 largest metropolitan areas on the RISI, with a score of 63/100.
The study found that 38% of San Antonio’s lower-income households live in lower-income census tracts, while 25% of upper-income households live in upper-income census tracts.
It also found that since 1980, the percentage of low-income San Antonians living in low-income census tracts had increased from 26% to 38%.
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