Racial equity: Report cites best and worst metros
If you are looking for a place to live with relative equity between blacks and whites, Albuquerque, N.M., is the best bet, and the Milwaukee area is the worst. That is according to a new interactive report card, “Grading the top 100 metros: Racial equity for African Americans,” issued by the Washington-based Urban Institute.
The report by the institute’s MetroTrends research team scores the nation’s metro areas on five factors of racial and ethnic equity: residential segregation, neighborhood affluence, public school quality, employment and home ownership. A companion report card, “Racial equity for Latinos,” examined conditions for Hispanics. The report combines data from the 2010 Census and Brown University’s USA2010 project, which examines recent changes in American society.
The report includes interactive maps that allow users to check their particular metro area or change the scale for scoring each of the five factors. Small-to medium-sized metros in the South and West score highest on the black/white racial equity scale, while the worst performers are big metros in the Midwest and Northeast. Researchers did not pinpoint a cause for the geographic discrepancies.
The 10 best metro areas, according to the report, from one to 10 are: Albuquerque, N.M.; El Paso, Texas; Lakeland-Winter Haven, Fla.; Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, Fla.; Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, Calif.; Santa Rosa-Petaluma, Calif.; Tucson, Ariz.; Modesto, Calif.; Honolulu, Hawaii; and Greenville-Mauldin-Easley, S.C.
The 10 worst metros, from 91 to 100 are: Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington across Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland; Rochester, N.Y.; Albany-Schenectady-Troy, N.Y.; Toledo, Ohio; Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, Conn.; New York-northern New Jersey-Long Island across New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania; Syracuse, N.Y.; Buffalo-Niagara Falls, N.Y.; Chicago-Naperville-Joliet, Ill.; and Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, Wis.
To close racial opportunity gaps, solutions “such as targeted school investments, fair housing enforcement and job training have to be crafted locally to tackle fundamental sources of inequality,” said Margery Turner, one of the report’s authors.
To see the full report, go to the institute’s website.