WYPR: How the Baltimore metropolitan region ranks in opportunities for African-Americans

Editor’s note: The following commentary aired on WYPR.org on June 16, 2015.

To read some headlines, you’d think the Baltimore area was a dead end place for African Americans.

Yes, we have crime, poverty and a tough situation post-civil unrest. But overall, the Baltimore metropolitan region ranks high in opportunities for African-Americans. A new study underscores this view.

In the Best Cities for Minorities report, the Baltimore metropolitan area ranked No. 4 in the study’s “52 Best Cities for African-Americans” list.

Among reasons for this enviable spot: high home-ownership, strong median household income and self-employment.

Baltimore ranked among the top 10 cities in all of these categories.

Let’s look at housing, which the authors dub the “critical difference” for minorities.

The Baltimore area had a 46.2 percent home-ownership rate among African-Americans – the fourth highest on the list.

In the median income category for African-Americans, Baltimore came in at just under $50,000 a year, placing it third highest in the United States.

The Baltimore metro area also ranked third in the self-employment category, an indicator of entrepreneurial activity.

As the study shows, our region has indicators of strength that should give all of us promise.

I’m Don Fry, President and CEO of the Greater Baltimore Committee.

Listen to the commentary here.

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