Minnesota's inequality widens as black household incomes drop $4K in 2014 - Bring Me The News

Minnesota's inequality widens as black household incomes drop $4K in 2014

Author:
Publish date:
Image placeholder title

The income gap affecting black Minnesotans widened dramatically in 2014 – with median household incomes in the state plunging almost $4,000.

New figures show the median income for black households in Minnesota last year was $27,026, a significant drop on the $31,021 earned in 2013 – while incomes in all other households rose slightly from $60,702 in 2013 to $61,481 last year.

The statistics were released as part of the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey, which describes itself as the "most comprehensive information source on American households."

Minnesota was one of only two states to see a significant increase in its score on the bureau's "Gini Index " for income inequality, the other being Idaho.

According to the Star Tribune, black households in Minnesota are now ranked 45th in the nation for median incomes out of the 50 states (plus Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico), behind Mississippi which is in 44th.

Steven Belton, CEO of the Minneapolis Urban League, told the newspaper: "It's alarming. It's a deepening of the income disparity, not only across the state but across the nation. When you pair that with the continuing disparities we have in education, health and wealth, it's disturbing."

Image placeholder title
 The figures show how median household income stands in 2014 (top table) compared to 2013. (Photo: U.S. Fact Finder)

The figures show how median household income stands in 2014 (top table) compared to 2013. (Photo: U.S. Fact Finder)

There was also a significant drop in income for American Indian households in Minnesota, the figures show, falling by $3,000 from $35,764 in 2013 to $32,764 in 2014.

On the other hand, incomes for white households rose, from $62,634 in 2013 to $64,281 last year – more than twice as much as black households – with incomes for Asian and Hispanic households also increasing.

Despite the racial disparities, the survey found Minnesota's poverty rates were relatively stable between 2013-14.

While Minnesota's average income of $61,481 is significantly higher than the national average of $53,657, MPR News notes that median incomes didn't rise a whole lot between 2013-14 (it rose $779, according to the figures). This is despite unemployment falling and the economy supposedly buoyant.

Steve Hine, of the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, told MPR this has been "characteristic of this economy's recovery," saying that income growth has been slower than expected despite the improving trading conditions.

Next Up

Related

Income in Minnesota falls relative to other states

Minnesota's median income no longer ranks in the top ten states nationwide, and experts say it could point to a bigger trend. One analyst tells MPR it could be a sign that other states are having more success at building industries and wealth.

Minnesota's median income halts slide

Minnesota's median household income held steady in 2011 at about $57,000 compared with the year before, after several years of decline, the Pioneer Press reported, citing new Census data. It was aided in part by a small improvement in the employment rate, the newspaper says.