Tucson & Pima County Housing Study

Neighborhood Vulnerability in the Tucson Region

The City of Tucson, Pima County, and the Economic and Business Research Center at the University of Arizona have collaborated to study housing and neighborhood vulnerability within the City of Tucson and Pima County. The goal of the first phase of this study is to identify "vulnerable", or stressed, neighborhoods within our region by compiling a Neighborhood Vulnerability Index.

Vulnerability in this context refers to the differing ability of members of particular socio-demographic groups to withstand threats to their livelihoods, security, and social, economic, and political networks. 1 Measures of social vulnerability attempt to integrate a set of characteristics of people and places that make them especially likely to be harmed by shocks such as natural disasters or development and rising housing prices. 2 The Vulnerability Index may be used for geographically - targeted strategies to direct resources, policies, and programs to best meet the needs of Tucson and Pima County’s unique neighborhoods.

Vulnerability Factors

The Neighborhood Vulnerability Index was developed by calculating a composite score of these five factors that signal vulnerability in a community:

  • Percent of residents that identify as anything other than “non-Hispanic white alone”
  • Percent of households who rent, rather than own, their homes
  • Percent of residents aged 25 and over who lack a four-year bachelor’s degree or higher
  • Percent of households with incomes below 80% of Area Median Income (as determined by HUD)
  • Share of children that live in households below the official poverty line

More information about these five factors and the study can be found in the Methodology tab.

Neighborhood Vulnerability Index Map

This interactive map illustrates the vulnerability findings from the most recent 2018 5-year American Community Survey data, collected and published by the U.S. Census Bureau. Scroll over the map to see more details about the status of each census tract, or zoom in to find your own neighborhood!

Note: The lightest blue color indicates the tract is "Not Vulnerable" while progressively darker colors indicate increasing levels of "Vulnerability".

Click here for Full Screen Map

2018 Neighborhood Vulnerability Index Summary

There are 241 total census tracts in Pima County, with 157 of those tracts within or adjacent to the City of Tucson boundary. This study found 103 vulnerable census tracts in Pima County, or 42.7%. Of the total vulnerable tracts, 87 were within the City of Tucson - this means that 55.4% of census tracts in Tucson were found to be vulnerable in some way.

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  1. Uprooted: Residential Displacement in Austin's Gentrifying Neighborhoods and What Can Be Done About It. p.19.
  2. Turner, Margaret A., "Strengths and weaknesses of the Housing Voucher Program," in J.R. Tighe and E.J. Mueller, eds., The Affordable Housing Reader, Routledge, 2013, pp. 288-294