Milwaukee’s staggering black-white economic divide

The ongoing protests and violence that have occurred over the past several days in Milwaukee are about more than the police killing of Sylville Smith.
News Story (Wisconsin)

Tanzina Vega
CNN Money
August 16, 2016

Tags: Employment, Income Inequality

Organizations mentioned/involved: Legal Aid Society of Milwaukee


A report from the National Urban League released in May examined economic data for blacks in 70 metro areas and found that Milwaukee has the largest gap in unemployment between blacks and whites in the country and the second biggest income gap.

In 2015, 17.3% of blacks in Milwaukee were unemployed compared to 4.3% of whites, the report found. And many blacks in the city were earning much less than whites. According to the report, the median household income for blacks in Milwaukee was $25,600 compared to $62,600 for whites.

“This is not a place where you have a strong, visible African-American middle class,” said Peter Koneazny, the litigation director for the Legal Aid Society in Milwaukee. “If you have opportunities, you go elsewhere.”