KSAT Explains: How COVID-19 pandemic has spotlighted longstanding inequities and socioeconomic issues in San Antonio

New episode explains why coronavirus pandemic has hit some parts of San Antonio over others

SAN ANTONIO – This week’s episode of KSAT Explains focuses on the uneven impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on our city, and the existing inequalities it has spotlighted.

From access to health care and education, these are inequities San Antonio has dealt with for decades.


San Antonio is one of the fastest growing cities in the country with more than 1.4 million residents, but it also has the reputation for being one of the poorest and most economically segregated cities in the country.


A 2018 American Community survey found that San Antonio has the highest poverty rate in the country out of the 25 largest metro areas in the United States. Detroit was second.

Here are some more key statistics.

(San Antonio household income via U.S. Census Bureau.)

- San Antonio’s median household income is $50,980 and about 50 percent of households earn less.

- 18.6 percent of San Antonians are living below the poverty line compared to 15.5 percent in the state. That includes 27 percent of children younger than 18 years old.

- 82 percent of San Antonians have at least a high school diploma, but only 26 percent have a bachelor's degree or higher. The statewide average of just over 29 percent.

- 54 percent of people in San Antonio own the homes they live in, which is eight percentage points less than the 62 percent across Texas.

We broke down the city’s demographic profile in the video below:

Access to health care has been a major problem for many San Antonio residents. This has only been highlighted by long lines and wait times at COVID-19 testing locations.

SA2020 compiled data from 2017 to show which city council districts have the most uninsured people

- District 5 was 25 percent uninsured.

- District 1 was nearly 22 percent uninsured.

- District 3 was nearly 21 percent uninsured.

San Antonio hotels, restaurants and the convention center were all forced to shut down, leaving people without a job and many without health care coverage.

We examined access to health care in the video below.

When school let out for spring break in mid-March, no one realized it would be the last time students set foot in a classroom for the academic year.

Moving classes online has been a challenge for teachers and families everywhere, but it has been especially difficult for students lacking technology.

According to data from SA2020, Districts 1, 2, 4 and 5 have the lowest rates of connectivity in the city.

(Digital Divide in San Antonio.)

The pandemic has forced more local leaders and organizations to pay more attention to the digital divide.

But the divide isn’t just a problem for students. It affects working from home, staying physically distant, but socially connected with friends and family.

More data from SA2020 shows how the digital divide disproportionately affects black and Latino households.

- 91.3 percent of white households have digital access.

- 89.4 percent of Latino households have digital access.

- 79.6 percent of black households have digital access.

Watch a full breakdown of San Antonio’s digital divide below:

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