Historic Roots of Modern Residential Segregation in a Southwestern Metropolis: San Antonio, Texas in 1910 and 2010
This study seeks to understand the historic roots of modern segregation by comparing residential racial patterns in the city of San Antonio over time. The year 1910 is recreated for San Antonio by georeferencing and digitizing historic Sanborn maps and aligning residential structures with historical census and city directory race data for the head of household. The historical point data are aggregated to the census block level and compared to 2010 householder race data by calculating the two most common dimensions of residential segregation: evenness (dissimilarity and Theil’s index) and exposure (isolation and interaction). The findings reveal that by 1910 San Antonio was already a remarkably segregated city and the original patterns of residential segregation resemble contemporary San Antonio. Particularly, residential racial segregation in the Hispanic concentrated southwestern portion of the city has increased over time resulting in an exceptionally racially divided metropolis.