Dallas Has More "Income Segregation" Than Almost Any Other City in the Country

As recent history has shown, pockets of intense poverty often lead to situations like this.
As recent history has shown, pockets of intense poverty often lead to situations like this.
Anna Merlen

The recent police shooting on Dixon Circle and the circumstances surrounding provided a reminder, if one was needed, that Dallas has large pockets of extremely concentrated poverty. As CitySquare's Gerald Britt wrote, average income in that particular ZIP code is $8,000 per year and has all the problems one associates with extreme urban poverty. And Jim reminded us that, not very far away, are similarly isolated pockets of fabulous wealth.

It's timely, then, that the Pew Research Center just released a study showing that Dallas is second only to Houston in terms of residential income segregation or, to put it more simply, rich people living with other rich people and poor people living with other poor people. And it's a trend that has accelerated quickly during the past three decades, growing by 50 percent by Pew's measure.

Pew didn't analyze why some cities are more segregated by income than others, but the potential contributing factors it posits are about what you'd expect: "historical settlement patterns; local housing policies, zoning laws, real estate practices and migration trends; and the characteristics of the local economy and workforce." And the trend in Dallas has likely been exacerbated by "an influx of low-skill, low-wage immigrants from south of the border."

The study also doesn't delve into the effects of the increased segregation, though the negative impact of living in an are well established: More crime, worse schools, poorer health, etc. But it's not all doom and gloom. After all, as the study notes, the country is still much more segregated by race.

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