When Forbes began its annual ranking of the places where black people are doing the best economically, many people probably assumed that the list would be filled with places in the North and the West, culminating in the city where residents are required to own at least one pair of Timberlands and everyone’s last name is either “B” or “My Guy.”
Nah, B. Apparently, the South is where it’s at.
The financial gurus at Forbes measured the statistical data for the 53 largest metropolitan areas in the country and used four criteria to determine how the African-American population was doing in each city:
- the homeownership rate
- entrepreneurship (as measured by the self-employment rate)
- median household income
- demographic trends (measuring the change in the African-American population from 2010 to 2016 in these metro areas)
Each category was weighted equally, and I’m sure that some economists, such as yours truly, will wonder why other metrics weren’t included, like employment rate, SoundCloud rappers per capita and the overall quality of lemon-pepper-wing spots.
Here are the top 10 cities where black people are doing the best economically:
Median black household income: $43,265
Homeownership rate: 48.6 percent
Richmond is still one of the most segregated cities in the country, but I’d also like to take this opportunity to apologize to someone I met in Richmond during my last visit. To the gentleman at the rental-car place: I’m sorry for grabbing you by the collar when you asked me if I was going to the Watermelon Festival. I didn’t know it is actually a big event in Richmond.
Median black household income: $40,329
Homeownership rate: 45 percent
This statistic may be misleading. Some economists say that 11-12 percent of the economy in Miami’s black community is from armpit-stain removals and button strengthening on DJ Khaled’s and Rick Ross’ designer shirts.
Median black household income: $47,588
Homeownership rate: 41.4 percent
I’m not saying that Houston is on this list because of James Harden’s reported affinity for “making it rain” at area strip clubs, but ...
OK, I am saying that.
Median black household income: $46,754
Homeownership rate: 44.3 percent
I think this is a mistake. I’ve been to San Antonio on multiple occasions, and besides the one Spurs game I attended, I have never seen a black person in San Antonio. That’s probably why Kawhi Leonard still wears cornrows, because there’s no one there to tell him to switch his hairstyle. I’m pretty sure he makes more than $46,000, though.
Median black household income: $42,108
Homeownership rate: 41.6 percent
Charlotte is one of my favorite cities to visit, probably because it’s close to my hometown. Nah, I’m lying. It’s because of restaurants like Mama’s Caribbean and Mert’s Heart and Soul. I usually leave the city 7 pounds heavier than when I came.
Median black household income: $49, 433
Homeownership rate: 41.3 percent
I don’t have anything bad to say about Raleigh. Unlike every other city on this list, I’ve only visited it once, and it was during a fraternity road trip, so I don’t remember much about it.
Thus, I have nothing bad to say about Raleigh.
Median black household income: $53,231
Homeownership rate: 44.6 percent
Most people think only of The Wire when they think of Baltimore, but the Harbor area is really nice (pronounced “gentrified”), and the cops keep the tourist areas relatively nice by planting narcotics on innocent people and killing an innocent citizen every now and then.
But I had some Cap’n Crunch french toast there that was spectacular. Sure, it was during the Freddy Gray uprisings, but still ...
Median black household income: $49,871
Homeownership rate: 42.5 percent
Austin has some of the best barbecue in the country and is also one of the most progressive cities in the South. How do I know? Because I was sitting in a restaurant in Austin almost a year ago when Editor-in-Chief Danielle Belton called me and offered me a job at The Root.
No one even blinked as I did a short Holy Ghost shout in the middle of the restaurant.
Median black household income: $48,161
Homeownership rate: 44.7 percent
It might just be because they have a mayor named Keisha. Maybe it’s because they are willing to knuck if anyone even thinks about bucking. Perhaps it’s because there “ain’t no mo’ play in GA.” Atlanta has become the cultural black mecca for everyone from hip-hop to reality housewives. Although it’s perhaps the most pretentious city in black America (everyone in the A is a CEO or a model or has an album coming out next year), apparently there are big bucks in the ATL. Aside from the traffic and the fact that the interstate might collapse at any given moment, please don’t ever forget one very important fact about the ATL:
The Falcons blew a 23-point lead in the Super Bowl.
Median black household income: $69,246
Homeownership rate: 48.3 percent
The original “Chocolate City” ties Atlanta for the No. 1 spot for where blacks are doing the best economically (and probably for the traffic most likely to make you cuss). Even though every sidewalk in downtown D.C. has a band that rivals Earth, Wind & Fire, I think they might want to retabulate the numbers since Omarosa Manigault Newman left. I don’t know how much the Trump administration pays its “token blacks,” but if Stormy Daniels reportedly received $130,000, I’m sure Omarosa’s job as secretary of Negro shenanigans paid at least $7 per hour.
But then again, Omarosa’s father is from Nigeria, one of those “shithole countries.”
Read more at Forbes.