Map Monday: US Black Homeownership Inequality

Here’s a maddening and entirely believable map from a think tank called the Urban Institute out of DC. It shows the size and scale of the gap in homeownership rates between African-Americans and whites in the US.

As described by the report’s authors, “the dots’ color represents the magnitude of the disparity, and the dots’ size is scaled to the number of black households in the metropolitan statistical area.”

Here’s the bad news:

The Minneapolis metro ranks as the worst metro area in the country for the size of the gap. The authors describe the situation in the midwest and northeast thus:

Northeastern and midwestern cities have the widest homeownership gaps between black and white residents. Four of the five metropolitan areas with the largest number of black households—Atlanta, Chicago, New York City, Philadelphia, and Washington, DC—are in this region. The two cities with the biggest gaps—Minneapolis, Minnesota, at 50 percent and Albany, New York, at 49 percent—are also in this region.

Even worse, the Twin Cities is moving backwards here. The report shows in this pull out chart.

There. I hope this ruined your day, as it should. Let’s figure out how to heal this longstanding wound. is a non-profit and is volunteer run. We rely on your support to keep the servers running. If you value what you read, please consider becoming a member.

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9 Responses to Map Monday: US Black Homeownership Inequality

  1. Tom Quinn March 12, 2018 at 2:28 pm #

    So what is the effect of the high number of Somali immigration to Minneapolis? I think those numbers would have to be taken out before any conclusions of trends or relative ranking can be made.

    • Bill Lindeke
      Bill Lindeke March 12, 2018 at 3:22 pm #

      I don’t know. I am pretty sure there are new immigrants in lots of cities. Plus this is metro-area not just the city of Minneapolis.

      • Tom Quinn March 12, 2018 at 3:52 pm #

        It’s hard to get definitive numbers, but I did some quick calculations based on some Google numbers. Assume the black population in the Twin Cities is 225,000 and the Somali population is 40,000, and that home ownership of Somali’s is essentially zero. The effect this has on the percent ownership is that the current 25% number changes to 30%. This is enough to eliminate the downward trend and move the MSP ranking from 1st to 4th.

        Obviously, these numbers aren’t good regardless.

        Your data also show a couple of other interesting things. White ownership has been declining for twenty years and I find it most curious that black ownership is so much more volatile over this same period. I can understand quick decline during an economic downturn if the population is vulnerable, but why would this same population climb back so fast during economic upturns?

        • Rosa March 12, 2018 at 8:08 pm #

          could rental discrimination push black people into the housing market faster, with a stronger effect than mortgage lending discrimination?

        • Cobo R March 13, 2018 at 9:47 am #

          You also need to add in other African immigrant populations as well. MSP metro has the largest Liberian population and one of the larger Ethiopian populations, and I’ve also met a large number of people from Ghana.

          • Bill Lindeke
            Bill Lindeke March 13, 2018 at 11:27 am #

            Even with these populations factored in, the key point about the huge racial gap in homeownership rates is still a big problem.

            • Nick Minderman March 13, 2018 at 11:29 am #

              Yes, this. Altering the statistics just hides the problem. I don’t care if we’re first or last, the fact that structural inequality exists should be enough of a motivation for change.

        • Dan Choma March 14, 2018 at 10:09 pm #

          This is data rich and accounts for home ownership as a percentage of cultural populations. According to the chart on page 57, 8% of Minnesotan Somalis own their own how and 25% of Minnesotan African Americans own their own home.

          Comparatively 77% of Minnesotan White people own their own homes.

          So its bad.

  2. Bill Lindeke
    Bill Lindeke March 15, 2018 at 9:05 am #

    Also, this needs to be added in there, as it underlies SO MUCH about this housing gap. Housing is a generational issue.

    ” In 2016, white families had a median net worth of $171,000, compared with $17,600 for blacks and $20,700 for Hispanics.”

    Link is here:

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