For decades, Minneapolis has been heralded as an American success story: The Twin Cities area is home to one of the largest concentrations of Fortune-500-company headquarters, and, relative to other large American cities, has low unemployment, little poverty, and plenty of affordable housing. Much of the prosperity, which has been called “The Minnesota Miracle,” has been attributed an unusual approach to sharing tax revenues between rich and poor communities in the region.
But two years ago, an uncomfortable reality came to light: The Metropolitan Council, a regional planning council, began analyzing Census data and discovered that the Twin Cities metro area is hardly a land of opportunity for everyone. The area had the largest wealth gap, employment gap, and homeownership gap between white residents and people of color among the country’s 25 largest metro areas. Two years after the council’s original report, little has improved, though the employment gap has narrowed a bit.
At first, some people suggested that the disparities had something to do with the region’s large number of East African immigrants, who tend to have lower education levels and poor English skills, and therefore face more obstacles in building wealth. But researchers at the Metropolitan Council recently analyzed the Census data in a different way, and dispelled much of that myth: Even after controlling for certain economic and demographic factors—such as income, immigration status, and length of time in the Twin Cities—a white person living in the area would still still be more likely to have a job, own a home, and earn more money than a black person living in the area.
Adam Duininck, the chair of the Metropolitan Council, concluded that the findings confirm beliefs about “the presence and persistence of structural racism in our Twin Cities community.”…..