The twin cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul end up on an impressive number of “Top 10” and “Best of” lists – for the economy, the bike lanes, the restaurants, the number of theater seats and higher education institutions, the severity of winter weather…
But while most of these rankings shine a fairly positive light on our fair metro, a new study, published by financial news services 24/7 Wall Street, paints a different, less-flattering picture: In the report, focused on the “chasmic” racial disparities across United States’ metro areas, the Twin Cities ended up a lot higher – #4 out of 15 – than we might like to admit as the progressive, liberal, glass-ceiling-and-barrier-breaking cities we’re often described as.
“The Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington metro area is one of several Midwestern cities that enacted restrictive housing covenants and exclusionary zoning policies in the 20th century. These policies still impact residential patterns today. The city is highly segregated by race and has some of the largest disparities in poverty, income, and homeownership between black and white residents of any U.S. metro area.”
Though this shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, as the same publication listed Minneapolis/St.Paul as the second worst metro in the country for racial equality just last year, and our own MinnPost and Star Tribune have discussed the (growing) problem in recent articles as well.
Even outsiders have noticed that something is rotten in Minnesota, as author Roxane Gay pointed out via Twitter during a trip earlier this year:
Minneapolis is so damn segregated. Every time I come here I notice it.
— roxane gay (@rgay) April 7, 2018
The report by the numbers
• Black population: 270,924 (7.8 percent)
• Black median income: $31,653 (41.5 percent of white income)
• Unemployment: 12.3 percent black; 3.9 percent white
• Homeownership rate: 24.6 percent black; 75.8 percent white
Not coincidentally, as a result those aforementioned “restrictive housing policies and exclusionary zoning practices,” the study found that the “The 24.6 percent black homeownership rate in the Twin Cities metro area is less than a third of the 75.8 percent white homeownership rate.”
The average black household in the Twin Cities earns $31,653 a year, less than a third of the average white household at $76,208, and the poverty rate is for African Americans in the Twin Cities is 32%, which is considerably higher than the national average of 26.2%.
A surprising (or maybe not) number of cities in Illinois made the list, including Chicago (#15), Springfield (#11), Decatur (#7), and Peoria (#5). The Twin Cities, at #4, sits just behind two Wisconsin metro areas on the list, Racine (#3) and Milwaukee (#2).
And the city at #1? Waterloo-Cedar Falls, Iowa.
Read the full report here: These are the 15 worst cities for African Americans
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