Worst Congressional Districts for Black Americans

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15. Pennsylvania’s 2nd Congressional District
> Current representative: Rep. Brendan F. Boyle (Democratic Party)
> Poverty rate: 31.1% black; 15.4% white
> Unemployment rate: 15.9% black; 4.5% white
> Homeownership rate: 49.0% black; 52.4% white

The 2nd Congressional District in Pennsylvania includes northeastern Philadelphia and extends northeasterly along the Delaware River. The predominantly black district has some of the worst socioeconomic disparities along racial lines in the country. Just 15.7% of black adult area residents have a bachelor’s degree compared to 66.4% of white adult residents. Incomes tend to be higher for adults with a college education, and in Pennsylvania’s 2nd District, the typical white household earns about $76,000 a year, more than double the roughly $30,000 median income among black households.

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14. Michigan’s 5th Congressional District
> Current representative: Rep. Daniel T. Kildee (Democratic Party)
> Poverty rate: 38.0% black; 14.7% white
> Unemployment rate: 21.9% black; 7.7% white
> Homeownership rate: 48.3% black; 77.3% white

Michigan’s 5th Congressional District is an industrial area on the state’s lower peninsula that stretches along the shore of Lake Huron, extending far enough north to include Tawas City, and far enough south to include Flint. The mostly white district has glaring economic disparities along racial lines. At 38.0%, the poverty rate among black residents is more than double the 14.7% white poverty rate. Members of the area’s black labor force are also nearly three times as likely to be unemployed as members of the white labor force.

Democrat Rep. Daniel T. Kildee has served the district since 2013. Kildee recently won reelection in 2018, defeating Republican challenger Travis Wines.

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13. New York’s 13th Congressional District
> Current representative: Rep. Adriano Espaillat (Democratic Party)
> Poverty rate: 31.0% black; 14.1% white
> Unemployment rate: 13.7% black; 5.5% white
> Homeownership rate: 10.2% black; 20.8% white

The 13th Congressional District in New York is located in New York City and includes parts of the Bronx and northern Manhattan. The typical black household in the district has an income of less than $30,000 a year, while the typical white household earns over $68,000 annually. The income disparities are linked to gaps in education outcomes. For example, fewer than 80% of black adults in the district have completed high school, compared to about 95% of white adults.

The district was formerly held by Democrat Charles Rangel, a vocal civil rights proponent, who served in the House from 1971 until his retirement in 2017. The seat is currently held by Democrat Adriano Espaillat.

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12. New York’s 7th Congressional District
> Current representative: Rep. Nydia M. Velazquez (Democratic Party)
> Poverty rate: 30.8% black; 19.7% white
> Unemployment rate: 15.8% black; 4.3% white
> Homeownership rate: 16.1% black; 30.2% white

New York’s 7th Congressional District covers the eastern border of Brooklyn along the East River as well as parts of Queens and Manhattan. Gentrification in the area has contributed to massive socioeconomic disparities along racial lines. For example, fewer than three out of every four black area residents 25 and older have a high school diploma compared to more than 90% of white area adults. Incomes tend to increase with educational attainment, and the typical black household in the district has an income of about $30,000 a year, less than half the median income among white households of $78,000.

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11. Georgia’s 5th Congressional District
> Current representative: Rep. John Lewis (Democratic Party)
> Poverty rate: 27.8% black; 9.0% white
> Unemployment rate: 14.4% black; 3.4% white
> Homeownership rate: 38.0% black; 56.6% white

The 5th District in Georgia covers downtown Atlanta and parts of the surrounding area. The heavily Democratic area is served by John Lewis, a congressman for the last 32 years and an outspoken proponent of civil rights.

The district is majority black and has some of the worst economic disparities along racial lines in the country. Black area residents are more than three times as likely to live in poverty and more than four times as likely to be unemployed as white residents. Such gaps are partially the result of disparities in educational attainment levels. For example, over 70% of white area adults have a bachelor’s degree compared to 23.7% of black adults.