Houston ranks among cities where Blacks are doing the best economically

The 2007 housing crisis was particularly tough on African-Americans, as well as Hispanics, extinguishing much of their already minuscule wealth. Industrial layoffs, particularly in the Midwest, made things worse.

However the rising economic tide of the past few years has started to lift more boats. The African-American unemployment rate fell to 6.8% in December, the lowest level since the government started keeping tabs in 1972. Although that’s 3.1 percentage points worse than whites, the gap is the slimmest on record. A tightening labor market since 2015 has also driven up wages of black workers, many of whom are employed in manufacturing and other historically middle and lower-wage service industries.

The gains have not been evenly spread. To determine where African-Americans are faring the best economically, we evaluated America’s 53 largest metropolitan statistical areas based on three critical factors that we believe are indicators of middle-class success: the home ownership rate as of 2016; entrepreneurship, as measured by the self-employment rate in 2017; and 2016 median household income. In addition, we added a fourth category, demographic trends, measuring the change in the African-American population from 2010 to 2016 in these metro areas, to judge how the community is “voting with its feet.” Each factor was given equal weight.

No. 10: Richmond, Va.

Median Household Income: $43,265

Home Ownership Rate: 48.6%

Share Who Are Self-Employed: 10.3%

Change In Population, 2010-16: 3.2%

No. 9: Miami

Median Household Income: $40,239

Home Ownership Rate: 45.0%

Share Who Are Self-Employed: 8.7%

Change In Population, 2010-16: 11.8%

No. 8: Houston

Median Household Income: $47,588

Home Ownership Rate: 41.4%

Share Who Are Self-Employed: 7.1%

Change In Population, 2010-16: 14.8%

No. 7: San Antonio, TX

Median Household Income: $46,754

Home Ownership Rate: 44.3%

Share Who Are Self-Employed: 5.9%

Change In Population, 2010-16: 20.1%

 

 

No. 6: Charlotte N.C.-S.C.

Median Household Income: $42,108

Home Ownership Rate: 41.6%

Share Who Are Self-Employed:11.0%

Change In Population, 2010-16:15.1%

No. 5: Raleigh, N.C.

Median Household Income: $49,433

Home Ownership Rate: 41.3%

Share Who Are Self-Employed: 10.2%

Change In Population, 2010-16: 14.2%

No. 4: Baltimore, Md.

Median Household Income: $53,231

Home Ownership Rate: 44.6%

Share Who Are Self-Employed: 17.1%

Change In Population, 2010-16: 4.6%

No. 3: Austin, Texas

Median Household Income: $49,871

Home Ownership Rate: 42.5%

Share Who Are Self-Employed: 7.3%

Change In Population, 2010-16: 19.3%

No. 1 (tie): Washington, DC-VA-MD-WV

Median Black Household Income, 2016: $69,246

Home Ownership Rate, 2016: 48.3%

Share Who Are Self-Employed, 2017: 13.7%

Change In Population, 2010-16: 7.8%

No. 1 (tie): Atlanta, Ga.

 

Median Household Income: $48,161

Home Ownership Rate: 44.7%

Share Who Are Self-Employed: 20.3%

Change In Population, 2010-16: 14.7%