Aurora named one of many nation’s finest cities the place black Individuals do finest economically

As the nation ponders the contributions and history of Black Americans during Black History Month, this week the city of Aurora received national news celebrating the progress and future of its own black community.

In a study of 129 cities in America, the personal finance website, SmartAsset, identified the cities where black Americans performed best economically. Aurora, the second largest city in Illinois, was high on the list.

“When it comes to wealth and personal financial success, black Americans across the country generally have fewer,” said Stephanie Horan, data journalist at SmartAsset. “While the national picture is less than encouraging, economic results for black Americans are better in some places than others.”

Aurora, Illinois ranked third in the nation and is the only Midwestern city on the list. Aurora’s black population is 10.8 percent of its 200,000+ residents.

“As we strive to make Aurora a more inclusive and just city for all, data like this shows we are on the right track in key areas,” said Richard C. Irvin, Aurora Mayor. “I know from a very personal level what is possible in Aurora, and we have worked to highlight and strengthen these opportunities for everyone. Of course, we still have a lot to do in many areas, especially with our youth. We also have major Achievements to build on. Data will continue to drive our actions. ”

Using data from the Census Bureau’s annual American community survey, the six metrics in the SmartAsset study were:

• Median household income for blacks.

• Black home ownership rate.

• Black employment rate.

• Poverty rate for black residents.

• Percentage of black adults with a bachelor’s degree

• The percentage of business owners who are black.

“Even in a challenging year amid the pandemic, 25 percent of Aurora’s new stores opened last year are black-owned,” said Sherman L. Jenkins, chairman of the Quad County African-American Chamber of Commerce. “This speaks volumes about the engagement of our growing black business community. As our focus on increasing the percentage of black business ownership, the Chamber will continue to work with officials from the city to improve the business environment and quality of life for black-owned residents . “

Aurora, Illinois ranks in the top third of all cities for five of the six metrics. In the study, Aurora did the:

• 26th overall ranking for black adults with a bachelor’s degree (29%).

• 15th highest black labor force participation rate (73.5%).

• 10th lowest black poverty rate (11.9%).

• Sixth highest median income among black households (approximately USD 65,900).

• Fourth highest black home ownership rate (approx. 52%).

“My customers in Aurora love affordability. They can buy a home in a great neighborhood, raise a family at a great price, with lots of space,” said Aurora-based real estate agent and Sheena Baker. “They are drawn to great schools, easy access to public transportation, shopping, and so many fantastic local restaurants and amenities.”

In 2019, Aurora was named America’s Best City for Affordable Home Buying on the personal finance website, GoBankingRates.

Other cities in the top 10 in the SmartAsset study include Virginia Beach, VA and Grand Prairie, TX (tied for 1st place); Aurora, IL and Pembroke Pines, FL (tied for 3rd place); Miramar, FL (5th); Charlotte, NC (6th); Garland, TX (7th); Durham, NC (8th); Enterprise, NV (9th); Elk Grove, CA (10th).

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This press release was produced by the City of Aurora. The views expressed here are the author’s own.

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