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Pittsburgh Blacks Among Nation’s Poorest, Most Segregated, says University of Pittsburgh Report


The city’s black population is one of the poorest in the nation and black men here are nearly twice as likely as white men to be unemployed, according to an in-depth report released Tuesday by the University of Pittsburgh.

The report, touted as the most comprehensive ever done on multiple races in Pittsburgh, brings to light the vast disparities in wealth, income and quality of life between blacks and whites in the city and its suburbs.

James Maher, the University of Pittsburgh’s provost, said the goal was a study so reliable it could not be ignored.

The issues addressed in the report by the school’s Center on Race and Social Problems concern everyone “but are so complicated we really don’t have solutions,” Maher said.

One of Pittsburgh’s major problems is its lack of diversity and highly segregated neighborhoods, researchers said. These factors contribute to the persistent employment and population-retention problems the region has suffered since the steel industry collapsed in the 1980s.

“The diversity issue matters, particularly to young folks. That’s a hindrance,” said John Wallace, a Pitt associate professor.

There are nearly 224,000 white people in the city of Pittsburgh compared with 91,000 blacks, who make up 27 percent of the population. The broader seven-county metropolitan area has 2.4 million people 8 percent black and 90 percent white.

Broad differences in income between blacks and whites in the region whites’ median annual income exceeds that of blacks by more than $10,000 is a symptom of other disparities, including the high rate of black children who live in households headed by single women.

– Associated Press

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