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Yet economic conditions for African-Americans vary widely throughout the country.We decided to look into which of America’s 52 largest metropolitan areas present African-Americans with the best opportunities.We weighed these metropolitan statistical areas by three critical factors — homeownership, entrepreneurship, as measured by the self-employment rate, and median household income — that we believe are indicators of middle-class success. In addition, we added a fourth category, demographic trends, measuring the change in the African-American population from 2000 to 2013 in these metro areas, to judge how the community is “voting with its feet.” Each factor was given equal weight.Southern Exposure In the first half of the 20th century, African-Americans fled the former Confederate state for economic opportunity, to escape from institutional racism and, sometimes, for their lives.African-Americans in these old industrial towns earn on average ,000 to ,000 less than their counterparts in Atlanta.

Home ownership rates, at 49.2%, are also the highest in the nation.This is also well above the of 28% average growth in the African-American population in the nation’s 52 biggest metro areas during the same time. (sixth); Orlando (seventh) as well as the three cities that tie for eighth place: Miami; Richmond, Va.; and San Antonio.This shift of African-Americans to Southern metro areas is widespread. The same can be said of Texas’ other big cities: Austin (11th), Houston (12th) and Dallas-Fort Worth (13th).Washington’s urban core may be becoming less black — down from 60% in 2000 to under 50% in 2013– but this has been more than made up for by the burgeoning population of surrounding suburban areas such as Prince George’s County, which is majority black and relatively prosperous, with poverty rates well below those of the city.The key plus here appears to be the the federal government, which employs many people at high wages in the area.A Bloomberg poll in December found that 53% of respondents believed that race relations have declined since Obama was elected in 2008.

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