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Two WNY Congressional districts among the ‘Worst’ for Black Americans

Financial news and opinion website 24/7 Wall St. published a study this week about the top 30 worst congressional districts in the country for black Americans to live.

“This isn’t necessarily the worst places demographically to live for blacks or the worst places for whites or the best of either one,” editor Douglas McIntyre said. “It’s the areas where there’s the largest divergence between demographically white Americans and black Americans.”

The study found two districts in Western New York were among the top 10. NY-26 landed at number nine while the publication identified NY-25 as the nation’s second worst. A large majority of those districts include the cities of Buffalo and Rochester, respectively.

“Most congressional districts I think have an average of 700,000-plus people in them so if 550,000 of those people are in one city, that’s clearly going to influence very substantially what the outcome is,”” McIntyre said.

Using federal Census data, the study looked at seven socioeconomic factors and found huge disparities between black and white people when it comes to categories like poverty rate, home ownership rate and unemployment. McIntyre said that seems to be a trend for older industrial cities that have seen population decline.

“It’s very possible that the people, the black Americans of these cities, to do well simply because the cities to a large extent have been destroyed,” McIntyre said.

He said there are a number of contributing factors to these disparities and the study was not meant to point the finger at one specific reason or person. That includes the Democratic congressmen — Joe Morelle in NY-25 and Brian Higgins in NY-26 — who represent the districts.

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