By Carole Ellis

Although racial segregation is no longer an accepted way of life in America, the separation of races is still very high, albeit no longer officially sanctioned, in many areas of the country. Although you might expect rural areas to be more segregated than urban ones, in reality, large metropolitan areas are far more likely to be divided along racial lines. 24/7 Wall Street recently released an index that showed the cities with the highest concentration of individuals living in racially-homogeneous zip codes. Here are the three most-segregated cities in America today.

3) Milwaukee, Wisconsin

In Milwaukee, more than half of the city’s population lives in an area where 80 percent of the residents in that area share the same ethnic background. Interestingly enough, only three of Milwaukee’s 80-odd zip codes house a dominantly black population, and median household income in these areas is $22,000, compared to $62,697 elsewhere. 24/7 Wall Street analysts speculate that this is due in large part to a swift influx of black residents in the 1960s around the time that the manufacturing jobs in the area began disappearing. The result has been a near-total lack of development of “a black middle class or a leadership elite,” they said.

2) Detroit, Michigan

Nearly 52 percent of all Detroit residents live in racially-homogeneous neighborhoods, and 18 of the area’s 106 zip codes specifically house nearly all of the city’s black residents. As in Milwaukee, the economic divide is a sharp one in Detroit as well, with double the number of black Detroit residents reporting that they were unemployed as white ones.

1) Cleveland, Ohio

Nearly six in every 10 residents of Cleveland lives in a segregated area, although the distribution by zip code is a bit more even than in the other two cities. 63 zip codes are predominantly white, while 37 are predominantly black. (Yes, we know that’s not even but it’s closer than elsewhere). 24/7 Wall Street contributed low incomes to high unemployment rates across the board, but noted that in Cleveland, black unemployment is nearly four times that of white unemployment.

* Carole Ellis is a writer and editor for the Bryan Ellis Investing Letter

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