Grand Rapids, Michigan ranks number 1 in “Best Cities for Raising a Family” but ranks the second-worst metropolitan city for African Americans economically.
Forbes.com listed the largest 52 U.S. metropolitan areas and compiled the results by using four factors: home ownership, entrepreneurship (self-employment rate), median household income, and demographic trends. The first three factors are based on 2013 data. The fourth factor is based on data from 2000 to 2013, measuring how many African Americans are leaving the area.
At the bottom of the list for worst cities for African Americans are Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, and Buffalo. Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and Grand Rapids all rank at 51. Many African Americans left the south during the Great Migration in the early half of the 20th century for manufacturing jobs. As jobs have dried up in the Rust Belt (term for the region straddling the upper Northeastern United States, the Great Lakes, and the Midwest States, referring to economic decline, population loss, and urban decay due to the shrinking of its once powerful industrial sector) African Americans living in what’s last place Milwaukee, followed by Grand Rapids, MI (51st); Cincinnati (50th); Pittsburgh (tied for 48th); Cleveland (47th), and Buffalo (46th) earn an average of $10,000 to $15,000 less than their counterparts in the top rated cities for African Americans economically. Self-employment rates are half as high as those in the top 10 best cities economically for African Americans.
The drastic decline doesn’t just devastate Midwestern and Northern cities, but some of the most prosperous metro areas are also not working out well for Blacks, including San Francisco-Oakland, which ties with Pittsburgh for 48th, Los Angeles (40th), and Seattle (36th).
The Black population has declined in some of these metro areas, including San Francisco, which has seen a 9.1% drop since 2000, and Los Angeles, where the African American population has dropped 8%. Chicago which ranks at 31st, long a major center of Black America, has seen a 4% drop since 2000, while the Black population of the New York metro area (24th) has grown just 2.4%.
The 5 Worst States for Black Americans by MSN.com:
> Pct. residents black: 6.2%
> Black homeownership rate: 28.1% (7th lowest)
> Pct. residents black: 5.4%
> Black homeownership rate: 25.7% (5th lowest)
3. RHODE ISLAND
> Pct. residents black: 6.4%
> Black homeownership rate: 29.4% (10th lowest)
> Pct. residents black: 14.2%
> Black homeownership rate: 38.5% (25th highest)
> Pct. residents black: 11.0%
> Black homeownership rate: 43.1% (14th highest)