MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District, represented by Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, was listed this week as the worst congressional district in the country for black Americans.
The financial website 24/7 Wall Street compiled a list of the 30 worst districts for black Americans by using data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Specifically, the list-makers honed in on metrics like median-household income, homeownership, unemployment, poverty, and educational achievement.
The numbers produce a stark picture of the 5th Congressional District, which encompasses Minneapolis and several surrounding suburbs.
“Black area residents are about four times more likely to live below the poverty line than white residents and three times more likely to be unemployed,” the list-makers noted, citing a legacy of historic racism as a source of the disparities. “Minneapolis is one of several Midwestern cities that enacted restrictive housing covenants and exclusionary zoning policies in the early 20th century. These policies impact residential patterns to this day.”
While the 5th District is represented by Omar, a progressive Democrat freshmen lawmaker, there’s only so much she can do on her own to improve disparities in her district, the authors of the list say. Large-scale improvements take the backing of several lawmakers.
Additionally, the authors note that many of the worst districts for black Americans are almost all located in, or partially in, cities that have the worst racial disparities. In a prior 24/7 Wall Street list, the Twin Cities metro was listed as the fourth-worst place for black Americans to live.