Legally, segregation is over. But ask anyone who lives in cities like East New York or in Chicago’s Garfield Park, and they’ll tell you that segregation is alive and well.
Virtually every city in America has its black areas, the remnants of redlining and restrictive covenants, and despite the pains of gentrification, a new report by 24/7 Wall Street suggests that segregation isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
The report’s authors looked at cities across the Union, at their black populations and at the percentage of that population that lives in majority-black neighborhoods (neighborhoods where at least 4 out 5 residents are black).
What’s the most segregated city in the United States? If you’re thinking one in the South, you’re thinking wrong.
Turns out, it’s Detroit, Michigan. Almost a quarter of Detroit is black. And a full 55.3 percent of its black citizens live in majority-black neighborhoods.
Coming in at a close number two is Chicago, a city that was once America’s black metropolis. 50 percent of all black Chicagoans live in majority black neighborhoods, most on the city’s West and South Sides.
Rounding out the top three is Jackson, Mississippi, where 48.5 percent of the population is black, and 47.7 percent of that population lives in all majority neighborhoods.
The study’s authors also tracked poverty rates in each of the cities on their list, and compared incomes of black families to those of white families.
Unsurprisingly, they found that black families tend to make less than white families.
They also discovered that urban whites have almost no experience with poverty — 1.4 percent of America’s white, urban population was found to live in extremely poor neighborhoods; 12.4 percent of urban blacks were found to live in the same.
When looking at poverty in general, rather than extreme poverty, authors found that an average of 25 percent of black citizens live in poverty, compared to nine percent of whites, and that in some cities, the percentage of black people living in poverty can go up to 33 percent.
Segregation coupled with high poverty levels lead to poor education outcomes, according to the authors, who note that lower property taxes in poorer and segregated black communities often translate to less funding for schools.
If you are curious where your city falls, the full list along with the percentage of black people living in majority black neighborhoods is below:
- Detroit, Michigan (55.3 percent)
- Chicago, Illinois (50.1 percent)
- Jackson, Mississippi (47.7 percent)
- Memphis, Tennessee (46.4 percent)
- Cleveland, Ohio (45.4 percent)
- New Orleans, Louisiana (43.1)
- Buffalo, New York (43 percent)
- Baltimore, Maryland (41.6 percent)
- Birmingham, Alabama (39.4 percent)
- Saint Louis, Missouri (39.3 percent)
- Milwaukee, Wisconsin (36.1 percent)
- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (32.3 percent)
- Baton Rouge, Louisiana (31.7 percent)
- Atlanta, Georgia (31.3 percent)
- Dayton, Ohio (29.6 percent)
- Washington, D.C. (29.1 percent)