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A new survey released in February of 2021 is telling the rest of the United States something that long-time Black residents out of the Triangle already know—Durham, Raleigh, and Charlotte are among the Top 20 cities that are the friendliest economic cities for Black Americans.
What used to be a best-kept secret has now turned into an influx of population for people of color who are looking to establish roots in North Carolina – especially in Durham. As a result of many “best-of” lists, the Raleigh-Durham area is experiencing a shortage of homes thanks to increased demand.
Back in 2017, Vogue magazine wrote, “Why Durham Is North Carolina’s Hippest City.” Shortly after, Durham was put on the map with plenty of citations as one the best cities to live in the country and another that labeled it as one of the best places for young professionals.
This latest study takes a different angle. Where are the American cities that are good places to live for Black people?
According to smartasset.com, Charlotte is ranked sixth and Durham eighth, with Raleigh coming in at the 20th spot out of the nearly 130 cities involved in the study. Virginia Beach, Virginia supposedly is the best of them all with the first-place spot, based on the metrics of wealth and personal finance.
Unfortunately, the study also highlights a less than appealing economic picture for Black Americans, made worse by the pandemic. The website points to the Federal Reserve’s 2019 Survey of Consumer Finances that reports the median Black household income is 33 percent lower than the overall median household income, while Black homeownership rate is 22 percentage points lower than the general homeownership rate.
However, the study determined the cities where Black Americans fared best economically looking at income, homeownership rates, labor force participation rates, and poverty rates – as well as the percentage of Black adults with a bachelor’s degree and percentage of Black-owned business in each city.
The study revealed that Durham acquired the eighth spot of the percentage of Black adults in the city with a bachelor’s degree, and the percentage of Black-owned businesses in the larger Durham-Chapel Hill metro area.
Black labor force participation rate in Durham is the 30th-highest across all cities in the study – equaling 69.4 percent. Alternatively, the Bull City poverty rate for Black residents is 35th-lowest overall, at 18.9 percent.
Raleigh is listed as the twentieth best city for Black Americans. These residents in the city have a median income of $45,818, and a home ownership of 35 percent. Nearly 33 percent of Black adults have earned a bachelor’s degree in the City of Oaks, and more than three percent of the businesses in the area are Black-owned.
Are you looking for somewhere where your diversity is not only accepted, but celebrated? We’ve got new home communities all throughout the Triangle area with incredible floorplans, convenience to city centers, and more!
By Kendra Stowe