MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The Metropolitan Council says new research shows that race itself might well play a role in understanding the disparities between whites and people of color in the Twin Cities metro.

The new analysis, which was revealed on Tuesday, examined a range of demographics on Twin Cities populations and found that when factors such as age, immigrant status and English skills are held constant, there still exist disparities between whites and people of color – especially blacks.

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Blacks, in particular, make less money, have lower employment rates and lower homeownership rates when compared with their white counterparts, even when both groups share the same demographic profile, the research showed.

This is troubling, the Metropolitan Counsel says, because it means that race, in part, is “driving the racial disparities we see in our region.”

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“These findings confirm long-held beliefs about the presence and persistence of structural racism in our Twin Cities community,” said Council Chair Adam Duininck, in a statement. “Disparities related to race or ethnicity are unconscionable and unacceptable. We can and must do better.”

Prior research has showed that the Twin Cities metro faces some of the largest disparities in the country in terms of education, homeownership and employment.

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Looking to the future, the Metropolitan Counsel says that people of color will account for more than 40 percent of the Twin Cities population by 2040. As such, it’s important for the community to address disparities between populations, as significant future growth in the workforce will come from people of color.