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What areas have high concentrations of wealthy African-American households?

Conversations about race often lead to the topic of economic and racial inequality. The effects of poverty are felt disproportionately by the African-American community, but thinking of poverty as a uniquely African-American issue isn’t borne out by the data. On the other hand, wealthy African-American households don’t seem to get as much attention.

Our analysis shows that concentrations of high-income African-American households are relatively rare. This isn’t to say that there aren’t many wealthy African-American households, but that many of those households live in neighborhoods where the population of other wealthy African-Americans is very low.

And the geographic distribution of wealthy African-American households is distinct from that of wealthy white households. Of the 13 Central Ohio census tracts with (1) an African-American population of at least 5% and (2) an African-American median household income of more than $100,000, only seven are in Franklin County.

The data, from the 2018 American Community Survey, may hint that wealthier African-American households leave the county to find desirable housing—or possibly that they are leaving the Columbus City School (CCS) district. Only one census tract is within CCS boundaries: Tract 72.05 near New Albany. Six of the census tracts are outside of Franklin County, with one in Licking County, two in Delaware County, and three in Fairfield County.

The analysis includes only census tracts where at least 5% of the total population is African-American. This helps avoid outliers where the African-American median household income may be very high, but the percent of African-Americans in the tract may be extremely low. The map above, instead, attempts to illustrate areas of higher concentration of high-earning African-American households.

Overlaid with CCS boundaries, the map shows that only two high-income white tracts are within the Columbus City School district—central Clintonville and German Village.

Overall, high-income earners aren’t locating near the urban core, with German Village as a major exception. It appears that high-earning African-American households live in significant concentrations even farther from the urban core than high-earning white households.


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