When low- to moderate-income residents move to new neighborhoods to find cheaper housing, their increased transportation costs eat up their savings, a recent study shows.

The San Diego region is one of the 28 metropolitan areas examined in the study by the Center for Housing Policy, a D.C.-based research arm of the National Housing Conference, a nonprofit group that supports affordable housing initiatives.

Housing and transportation costs combined eat up 57 percent of the annual income pulled in by people in the nation making $20,000 to $50,000 annually, the study showed.

For San Diego, those costs for the same segment of people were 59 percent of the annual income.

You can check out the San Diego portion of the report (a PDF) or a chart showing where San Diego fits among the other 27 areas examined.

The center took these data from the 2000 census numbers, but told the Wall Street Journal last week that the costs of housing and transportation had grown since then at roughly the same rates.

I don’t think that’s the case for San Diego, but the comparison is still interesting. Also, an annual income of $20,000 to $50,000 obviously means something different in each of the metropolitan areas, depending on the cost of living.

KELLY BENNETT

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