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CityLab
Economy

What ‘Livability’ Looks Like for Black Women

Livability indexes can obscure the experiences of non-white people. CityLab analyzed the outcomes just for black women, for a different kind of ranking.
Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles is one of several black woman mayors recently elected in the South. Her metro area is one of several in North Carolina that have some of the best outcomes for black women.
Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles is one of several black woman mayors recently elected in the South. Her metro area is one of several in North Carolina that have some of the best outcomes for black women.Al Drago/Bloomberg

Last September, the city of Pittsburgh released a report on gender and race disparities that concluded, perhaps to the city’s own shock, that Pittsburgh is the worst city for black women to live in by just about every metric. The aftermath of that bombshell was a bevy of columns and essays from black women either expressing vindication for leaving Pittsburgh or—for those still stuck there—questioning whether they should stay. Listing the many reactions to the report, local columnist Tereneh Idia wrote for Pittsburgh City Paper:

For the “should I go?” camp, there’s a question that also confronts many other American black women: Where exactly is a livable place for African-American women? To explore answers to this question, CityLab collaborated with one of the lead researchers of the Pittsburgh disparities report to look at a similar analysis across America’s largest cities. The result is a window into some of the best and worst cities for black women.