Minneapolis’ racial disparities in home ownership worst in nation, report says

    apartment building
    An apartment building in St. Paul, Minnesota in February 2020. Photo by Max Nesterak/Minnesota Reformer

    Minneapolis has the largest gap between Black and non-Black home ownership rates in the United States, according to an analysis released this week by Zillow.

    Although the national Black home ownership rate grew in 2019 after reaching a 50-year low the year before, racial disparities still persist across much of the U.S.

    In Minneapolis, the Black home ownership rate trailed the non-Black rate by 51 points, a significantly larger gap than those in the second- and third-worst metros, where the rates differed by about 40 points. The Black home ownership rate in Minneapolis is 22%, half the national rate.

    The Great Recession hit Black homeowners hardest, and the lingering effects of the housing bust brought the Black home ownership rate down to 41.5% by 2018 — about the same as in 1970 — following decades of progress, according to the Zillow report. It increased to 44% by the end of 2019.

    “It remains clear that some of the sores from supposedly bygone eras marked by redlining and other overtly discriminatory policies are still open,” the report says. Black home buyers are more likely to be concerned about qualifying for a mortgage than white buyers and are more likely to be denied financing at least once, according to Zillow. 

    In general, metro areas where Black residents make up larger shares of the population have higher rates of Black home ownership, Zillow found. The national gap between Black and non-Black home ownership rates was 26 points.

    At 54%, Jackson, Miss. and Charleston, S.C. had the highest Black home ownership rates of metros included in the analysis. Pittsburgh, Penn. and Milwaukee, Wisc. had the second- and third-largest gaps.

    Rilyn Eischens
    Rilyn Eischens is a data reporter with the Reformer. Rilyn is a Minnesota native and has worked in newsrooms in the Twin Cities, Iowa, Texas and most recently Virginia, where she covered education for The Staunton News Leader. She's an alumna of the Dow Jones News Fund data journalism program and the Minnesota Daily. When Rilyn isn't in the newsroom, she likes to read, add to her plant collection and try new recipes.