Wednesday, November 21, 2018

2 Upstate NY Cities Named Among Worst Cities for Black Americans
Nov 19, 2018
The skyline of Rochester, N.Y., is visible from Cobbs-Hill Park in this file photo.

By Geoff Herbert

Two cities in Upstate New York have been named among the 15 worst cities for black Americans to live.

USA Today notes that the unemployment rate for black U.S. citizens fell below 6 percent for the first time this year, but concerns still persist about racial inequality, job disparities and other socioeconomic gaps. The black unemployment rate, for example, has remained higher than the overall unemployment rate since the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics began tracking it more than 40 years ago.

According to the publication, black Americans are also less likely to own a home or have a college education, and are five times more likely to be imprisoned than white Americans. On top of that, the median income for black households is just $36,651 -- $24,000 less than the median income among white households.

24/7 Wall St. created a new list of the 15 worst cities for black Americans based on statistics in eight categories including education, household income, incarceration rates, mortality and unemployment rates. The 2018 study considers metro areas where African-Americans comprise at least five percent of the population, and two in the Empire State made the cut.

Rochester, N.Y., was named the 14th worst U.S. city for African-Americans, with an unemployment rate of 16.3 for black residents (11.5 percent of Rochester's population) compared to 5.4 percent for white residents. The homeownership rate is 32.3 percent for black residents and 73.9 percent for white residents.

USA Today reports the Civil Rights Project at UCLA recently found that "de facto" segregated schools are also a concern in Rochester, where black students make up more than half of inner city public schools as white families relocated to the suburbs. Just 78.8 percent of black adults in Rochester have a high school diploma, compared to 93.1 percent of white adults -- almost double the nationwide attainment gap.

Elmira, N.Y., was named the sixth worst city for black Americans, due to a median income of just $21,767 (42.6 percent of white income) and an unemployment rate that's three times the white unemployment rate. Only 5.9 percent of the Southern Tier city is black, but the gaps are among the largest in the country; the homeownership rate is just 22.4 percent for black residents, compared to 71.7 percent for white residents.

According to 24/7 Wall St., the study compared metropolitan areas across the U.S. where the black population was at least five percent and data was available for eight categories, including the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey on median household income, poverty, adult high school and bachelor's degree attainment, homeownership, and unemployment rates; data on incarceration rates from The Sentencing Project; and age-adjusted mortality rates by race from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

24/7 Wall St. conducted a similar study last year, naming Syracuse the 8th worst city for black Americans to live. The Salt City was not on this year's list.

Worst Cities for Black Americans, according to 24/7 Wall Street:

15. Chicago, Naperville and Elgin, Illinois
14. Rochester, New York
13. Danville, Illinois
12. Trenton, New Jersey
11. Springfield, Illinois
10. Fresno, California
9. Kankakee, Illinois
8. Niles-Benton Harbor, Michigan
7. Decatur, Illinois
6. Elmira, New York
5. Peoria, Illinois
4. Minneapolis-St. Paul, Bloomington, Minnesota
3. Racine, Wisconsin
2. Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, Wisconsin
1. Waterloo-Cedar Falls, Iowa

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