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How Does Austin Compare for African-American, Latino Opportunity?

Image courtesy
A still of an interactive map from the Urban Institute, ranking equity for African-Americans and Latinos around the country.

An interactive map crunching data from the 2010 census gives Austin a letter grade of C on racial equity for Latinos, and B for African-Americans.

The map, published on the Urban Institute’s MetroTrends website, looks at “five indicators of metro-wide racial equity:” the degree of residential segregation, gaps in neighborhood income, school testing scores, employment, and homeownership between the respective minority groups and whites.

The map averages scores across the Austin-Round Rock-San  Marcos-area to deliver an overall grade of C for Latinos, or 56th out of the top 100 largest metro areas. The data displays high reads on the residential segregation gap (43.2%), testing scores (37.2%), and homeownership (33.6%). It ranks equity for African-American Austin metro residents as slightly higher, with a grade of B, ranking the area 31st of 100.

“Closing these opportunity gaps is no simple matter,” writes Urban Institute research vice-president Margery Turner. “And the solutions—such as targeted school investments, fair housing enforcement, and job training—have to be crafted locally to tackle fundamental sources of inequality. So policymakers and civic leaders in metros across the country should be using our report card to challenge themselves, asking ‘How does our region perform?’ and ‘What can we do to narrow the opportunity gaps in our region?’”

You can view the map here.

Wells has been a part of KUT News since 2012, when he was hired as the station's first online reporter. He's currently the social media host and producer for Texas Standard, KUT's flagship news program. In between those gigs, he served as online editor for KUT, covering news in Austin, Central Texas and beyond.
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