The University of Texas at Austin   School of Law

Green Doors and the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity Release Report on the Geographic Footprint of Opportunity

Blacks & Latinos more than Twice as Likely as Anglos to live in low opportunity, high poverty Austin neighborhoods, according to the just released “The Geography of Opportunity in Austin and How It Is Changing” report

Green Doors and the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity have released The Geography of Opportunity in Austin and How It Is Changing, an in-depth analysis of the geographic footprint of opportunity, or the lack thereof, in our community in terms of education, housing, economics, health, and environment.

Despite the robust socio-economic growth of the greater Austin area, all boats are not rising.  The Austin metro area is becoming more and more a tale of two cities – the Haves and Haves Not A Lot at All.  Key findings from the analysis include:

  • Strong Negative Correlation between Race & Opportunity.  African Americans and Latinos are geographically isolated from higher opportunity neighborhoods in the Austin area.  59% and 62% of African Americans and Latinos, respectively, live in low opportunity neighborhoods in the Austin area, compared to only 26% of Anglos.  In short, African Americans and Latinos are more than twice as likely as Anglos to live in low opportunity neighborhoods.
  • Latinos Segregated from Opportunity.  Latinos, the largest minority population in the region (31% of the population), are highly concentrated in neighborhoods of low opportunity (62% of Latino households vs.26% of white households).  This is especially acute for Latino children throughout the region and educational opportunity.  63% of Latino children attend schools in low educational opportunity neighborhoods vs. 20% of white children.
  • Affordable Housing Highly Concentrated in Low Opportunity Neighborhoods.  The vast majority (79%) of subsidized affordable housing is located in low opportunity neighborhoods.  And only 8% of subsidized affordable housing is located in high opportunity neighborhoods.

The full report provides a detailed description of the opportunity mapping methodology and data sources, as well as additional opportunity analysis.  It also contains opportunity maps demonstrate visually the stark divide in opportunities for different groups of people in our community.