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Washington, D.C., tops a new Lending Tree study as the No. 1 metro where Black residents thrive financially. The metro has the third-highest score in three of their five individual metrics — education, median income and incomes of $100,000 or above.
LendingTree researchers analyzed five financial metrics across the 100 largest U.S. metros, finding that Black households see the most economic prosperity in D.C., and the least in Toledo, Ohio.
The financial challenges that Black Americans face are evident.
An ever-moving target, the net worth of Black families in America is typically a fraction of that of White families — with recent data showing that a White family’s median net worth is nearly eight times that of a Black family.
However, there are pockets of the country where the financial gap is narrower (or wider) due to median incomes, homeownership rates and other factors, including:
- Median household income among Black or African American householders in the past 12 months (in 2021 inflation-adjusted dollars)
- Percentage of Black or African American householders who made $100,000 or more in the past 12 months (in 2021 inflation-adjusted dollars)
- Percentage of Black residents 25 and older with a bachelor’s degree or higher
- Homeownership rate among Black residents
- Unemployment rate among Black residents 16 and older
Black Americans thrive most in the District of Columbia.
D.C. ranks in the top three in three of five selected metrics. Black householders in the D.C. metro have a median household income of $82,045, with 40.5% earning $100,000 or more.
The median household income among Black householders in the D.C. metro is $82,045 — 18.9% higher than the national median household income of $69,021. (An above-average median income typically signifies a greater share of high-income earners and residents with higher education levels.)
The metro also has a top-10 ranking in homeownership — more than half (51.3%) of D.C.’s Black residents are homeowners.
The data also shows that 40.5% of the metro’s Black householders earn $100,000 or more, and that 37.2% of Black adults 25 and older hold a bachelor’s degree or higher.
Palm Bay, Fla., has the highest homeownership rate among Black residents — more than 6 in 10 (62.4%) are homeowners.
Meanwhile, 37.2% of Black adults 25 and older in D.C. have a bachelor’s degree or higher. Black residents in Austin, Texas, finish second while Provo, Utah, and Poughkeepsie, N.Y., tie for third.
Two California metros lead three of the top-five lists by metric despite not being in the top five overall. San Jose and Oxnard finish No. 1 and 2 in our income- and education-based metrics. But San Jose’s bottom-10 homeownership rate and Oxnard’s middle-of-the-pack unemployment rate among Black residents push the metros to No. 12 and No. 6 overall, respectively.
Black Americans thrive the least in Toledo, Ohio.
Toledo ranks last for income, with Black householders earning a median household income of $31,106. The metro has the third-worst rankings for education (14.8%) and percentage of Black households earning $100,000 or more (8.6%). Plus, the metro’s double-digit unemployment rate (13.6%) among Black residents is the fourth-worst in the ranking.
The financial status of Toledo’s Black community reflects the metro’s overall economic environment.
The city of Toledo has a high poverty rate — 24.5%, more than double the national rate of 11.6% — and its overall median household income ($41,671) is 39.6% lower than the country’s ($69,021). Ohio has two other metros in the bottom 10, Cleveland and neighboring Akron.
Toledo ranks in the bottom four in four of the five selected metrics. Black householders in the Toledo metro have a median household income of $31,106 — the lowest among the 100 metros analyzed.
It also has the third-lowest percentage of Black households earning $100,000 or more (8.6%) and percentage of Black adults 25 and older with a bachelor’s degree or higher (14.8%) and the fourth-worst unemployment rate among Black Americans (13.6%). Black residents in Syracuse, N.Y., and Scranton, Pa., join the bottom three overall.
Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin metros appear in four of the bottom-five lists.
Scranton joins Toledo with bottom-five appearances in four of the metrics, while Milwaukee appears in three of five. Madison, Wis., occupies the bottom spot in another.
Discover Places Where Black Americans Thrive the Most (and Least) here.