Socioeconomic outcomes of redlining in Salt Lake City, Utah

Authors: Amanda Cooley*,
Topics: Urban Geography, Ethnicity and Race, Geographic Information Science and Systems
Keywords: redlining, GIS, racial segregation, urban geography, health, home ownership
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/4/2019
Start / End Time: 9:55 AM / 11:35 AM
Room: Lincoln 2, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: Download



The purpose of this research is to demonstrate how maps created during the 1930s by the Home Owners’ Loan Corporation aided in systematically excluding African Americans from one of the most substantial opportunities to gain wealth in United States history. The maps depict neighborhoods color-coded based on a perception of which areas posed the highest credit risk. Neighborhoods colored red were deemed D-grade, Hazardous and were said to present the highest risk of loan default. The practice of withholding lending to red-coded areas is referred to as redlining. A widespread use of these maps has contributed to decades of barriers to adequate housing for African Americans. This relationship is demonstrated through a case study of Salt Lake City, Utah using a Geographic Information System. The GIS is used to overlay a redlining map of Salt Lake City with 2010 census tracts in order to identify socioeconomic trends.
This research demonstrates that redlined neighborhoods have the highest concentration of black/African American citizens, highest rates of vacancy, lowest rates of owner-occupancy, lowest rates of educational achievement, and lowest median family incomes in Salt Lake City. This indicates a strong relationship between the class of the neighborhood designated by the HOLC and modern socioeconomic patterns . While a cause and effect relationship cannot be fully demonstrated, the HOLC map of Salt Lake City does reflect how socioeconomic problems are spatially distributed across the city.

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