Income Inequality Varies By Community when Comparing Black and Latino Populations

Substantial differences in median incomes between the Black and Latino communities in Southeastern Michigan exists, just as those differences were highlighted in recent posts between the black and white communities in the region and the Latino and white communities. Of the 84 communities in the region where one population-Black or Latino-earned more on average than another there was about an even split between the Black population in a community earning more than a Latino population and vice versa. 

(In the map above the Black population is making “more” or “less,” so for example, the bottom number at the legend means the Black population in that community is making $117,242 less than the Latino population.)

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 42 communities in Southeastern Michigan the Black population, on average, out earned the Latino population. The community that saw the largest median income gap between these two populations was Grosse Pointe, where the median income for the Black population was $171,000 and the median income for the Latino population was $53,000; the income gap between the two was $117,000. The community with the second largest income gap between the Black and Latino population was Bloomfield Township where the Black population, on average, earned $158,000 and the Latino population earned on average $108,000; the income gap was $50,000. 

When looking at the communities where the Latino population on average out earned the Black population in Southeastern Michigan we see that Utica had the largest gap. According to the data, a median household income for a Latino population in Utica was $118,000 and for a black household it was $29,000, making the income gap $90,000. In Brighton, the income gap was $81,000 where the median household income for the Latino population was $138,000 and was $57,000 for the Black population. 

In the City of Detroit the median household for the Black population is $32,000 and the median household income for the Latino population is $34,000; the Latino population, on average, out earned the Black population by $2,000.

While this post sheds light on income equality that exists between two minority populations in the region, this series (earlier posts can be found here) further highlighted how the white population in Southeastern Michigan earned more than both the Black and Latino populations. According to the data, there were 74 of 84 communities in Southeastern Michigan where the white population out earned the Latino population and 60 communities where the white population out earned the Black population. Furthermore, the data shows that the income gap between the white populations and Black populations in the region was higher than the income gaps between the white and Latino and Black populations. When examining this data we must also take into account that several communities in the region did not have enough data to compare one or more of the populations to another. 

Income inequality is not an issue unique to the Metro-Detroit area nor the State of Michigan. Nationwide the white population continues to out earn minority populations. According to the New York Times, the median white family has 41 times more wealth than the median Black family and 22 times more wealth than the median Latino family. Wealth for white families also increases at a much faster rate than those of minority families. Discussing the income inequality gap is one thing, but understanding how to change it is another. Of course this takes policy actions at the state and national levels. These actions include increasing the minimum wage and continuing to break down barriers that have led to segregation and racism. Companies must also take action in this change by addressing their hiring and wage policies. And finally, education is key. We must continue to discuss this topic and educate others on how it can be changed. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.