The latest quarterly report issued through the School of Social Ecology’s Metropolitan Futures Initiative (MFI) explores the concept of demographic “mixing,” its prevalence in Southern California neighborhoods and its relationship to “economic dynamism.” Researchers identified seven factors that directly affect a community’s vitality and well-being, each with a four- or five-category range: population age, household income, educational attainment, race/ethnicity, housing age, housing type and land use. “Mixing” refers to the distribution of those attributes. For example, an area where residents were fairly evenly divided among the four population age categories would be described as having a high level of age mixing. Conversely, a place with a large proportion of children and middle-aged adults but few young adults and seniors would be labeled as having a low degree of age mixing. “Our cutting-edge statistical analyses allow us to assess which neighborhood ‘ingredients’ help or hinder such economic indicators as employment or home value,” said John Hipp, director of the MFI and professor of criminology, law & society at UCI.