Chart of the Day: Renting and Ethnicity in Minnesota

Here’s a chart from this great “statistics and demographics” article in today’s Star Tribune. Check it out:


CJ Sinner at the Star Tribune reports on how and why these data were created:

Recently, a sharp drop in median income among Black Minnesotans prompted the Minnesota State Demographic Center to take a deeper economic look at ethnic “subgroups” — the smaller groups that make up each of those larger racial groups.

These subgroups together represent a relatively small percentage of Minnesota’s population — less than 20 percent — but they are growing quickly. White Minnesotans make up the largest group at 4.4 million residents.

In my opinion, the rental chart is pertinent to many of the conversations around land use and urban design. A lot of the time the “renters v. homeowners” conversations (like this one) take place in the abstract conceptual realm of property values or “quality of life.”

But race plays a huge and often unspoken factor. Who rents? Who owns their own homes? Are policies that make renting property more difficult inherently discriminatory, even if they remain ostensibly colorblind?

At the very least, these facts from the State demographer make it clear that we should consider questions like these, because home ownership is not equally distributed in Minnesota.