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Metros With Starkest Differences in Black Homeownership

February 22, 2021

A new study looks at America’s 50 largest cities and compares homeownership rates for Black people relative to their share of the population. Its findings were stark.

LendingTree, an online lending marketplace, looked at the population share of African Americans in each of America’s 50 largest cities and compared it to the percentage of Black homeowners. It found that Black people were underrepresented across the 50 cities—even in those with the largest Black populations.

Black homeowners own the largest percentage of homes relative to their total population in Portland, Ore. In Portland, African Americans make up 2.8% of the population but own only 1.8% of homes, researchers note. In Memphis, Tenn., the difference is the starkest: Black Americans comprise 47% of the total population in the city and are the largest racial group in the area, but own only 35% of the occupied housing units there, the study notes. The study finds that Black Americans also own the smallest share of homes relative to their overall population in New Orleans; Milwaukee; Virginia Beach, Va.; and Baltimore.

Researchers say the disparities are likely due to Black Americans earning lower incomes and having less household wealth than other racial groups. Both measures may be attributed to historical and systemic discrimination. African Americans also tend to have greater difficulty accessing credit, even when their incomes are the same as applicants of different races, according to the study. “Furthermore, the legacies of historical policies meant to disenfranchise Black home buyers, like redlining, contribute to the disproportionately low homeownership rate among Black Americans today,” the study notes.

Take a look below at the full breakdown of the data.