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4 of America’s Worst Places for Blacks are in Illinois

Source:patch.com

The city regions in America beset with the worst racial inequality are all in the Midwest — and four of them are in Illinois, according to Wall St. 24/7, which reviewed a range of economic and social data to identify the places where blacks have the greatest chance of faring the worst.

“Education, unemployment, wages, income, all of that affects your ability to build wealth,” Valerie Wilson, director of the program on race, ethnicity and the economy at the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), a progressive think tank, told Wall St. 24/7. “If one of those things isn’t working, it just sort of ripples into each of those other areas.”

Throughout the 20th century, African-Americans migrated to the Midwest from the South in great numbers to work in factories. Those jobs have dwindled, however, and inequities in income, wealth, education, mobility and other factors have widened between blacks and whites, making these places the worst 10 cities/regions in the United States on racial inequality, according to a review of 2014 census, CDC and incarceration data.

10. Waterloo-Cedar Falls, Iowa

7 percent of the population is black, while the black unemployment rate is 24 percent and median black household income is 54 percent of white household income

9. Des Moines-West Des Moines, Iowa

5 percent of the population is black, while the black unemployment rate is 10.6 percent and median black household income is 57 percent of white household income

8. Kankakee, IL

14.9 percent of the population is black, while the black unemployment rate is 20.6 percent and median black household income is 48.7 percent of white household income

More than one in five black workers in Kankakee is unemployed. The black unemployment rate exceeds 20% in only 16 other U.S. cities, three of them among the worst cities for African Americans. Lack of job opportunities likely contribute to a higher poverty rate among black residents. At nearly 40%, the poverty rate among black residents is not only far higher than the comparable rate for white residents of 7.3%, but also one of the highest in the nation.

7. Lima, OH

12.2 percent of the population is black, while the black unemployment rate is 22.9 percent and median black household income is 36.5 percent of white household income

6. Peoria, IL

9.1 percent of the population is black, while the black unemployment rate is 16.5 percent and median black household income is 49.1 percent of white household income

Peoria is one of the worst cities in the country for black Americans. The poverty rate of 28.2% among the city’s black population is well above the poverty rate among the city’s white residents of 10.4%. Similarly, the median annual income of $58,563 for white households is more than double the annual income of $28,777 for a typical black household.

5. Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI

6.5 percent of the population is black, while the black unemployment rate is 13.0 percent and median black household income is 44.6 percent of white household income

4. Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL

16.8 percent of the population is black, while the black unemployment rate is 18.5 percent and median black household income is 50.1 percent of white household income

Slightly more than 7 percent of white Chicago-area residents live in poverty, while the poverty rate for the city’s black population is nearly 30 percent. Similarly, while 43.7 percent of white adults had at least a college degree, 21.8 percent of black adult Chicagoans were college educated. In addition to socioeconomic racial disparities, black area residents had far higher mortality rates compared to white residents. The Chicago metro area black population leads the nation with 1,550 deaths per 100,000 African Americans in a year, versus the mortality rate for white Chicagoans of 713 per 100,000 white people.

3. Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN

7.8 percent of the population is black, while the black unemployment rate is 12.8 percent and median black household income is 37.9 percent of white household income

2. Rockford, IL

11.1 percent of the population is black, while the black unemployment rate is 28.9 percent and median black household income is 44.2 percent of white household income

Rockford is home to about 342,400 people. Rockford is struggling economically. The area’s unemployment rate of 8.3 percent is more than 2 percentage points higher than the national unemployment rate of 6.2 percent. While poor economic conditions affect everyone, the city’s black population has been hit the hardest. Of the 201 metro areas examined, the median income of $22,651 among black households in Rockford is lower than in all but 10 other cities and significantly lower than the $51,264 median income among white households. Even more astounding, 28.9 percent of the city’s black working population is unemployed, a larger share than in any other city in the country. The poverty rate among the city’s black residents is 43.1 percent, over four times the city’s white poverty rate.

1. Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI

16.7 percent of the population is black, while the black unemployment rate is 17.2 percent and median black household income is 41.6 percent of white household income

» more detailed analysis about these communities can be read on Wall St. 24/7, including the methodology behind the rankings

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