The Top Ten Cities for African Americans July's Black Enterprise Reveals Where to Live, Work, and Play

Jun 21, 2004, 01:00 ET from BLACK ENTERPRISE

    NEW YORK, June 21 /PRNewswire/ -- BLACK ENTERPRISE today revealed its 2004
 list of the Top Cities for African Americans to Live, Work, and Play.  The top
 picks were culled from more than 4,000 interactive surveys completed on and by editorial staff evaluations. Survey
 respondents placed a high priority on income earnings potential, cost of
 living, housing prices, and entrepreneurial opportunities. When be first
 published this list in 2001, four of the top 10 cities were in the South.
 This year seven out of 10 are below the Mason-Dixon Line.  Five out of 10 have
 a black mayor, and all have a black population of at least 25%.  Eight of 10
 have a cost of living index that is less than the national average.  Seven
 cities have returned in 2004, while Philadelphia, Chicago, and Detroit have
 fallen off the list.  Newcomers are Nashville, Tennessee; Birmingham, Alabama;
 and Columbus, Ohio.
      Atlanta, Georgia, ranks as the No. 1 city for African Americans, driven
      primarily by entrepreneurial opportunities, earnings potential, and
      cultural activities.  Future job growth is strong at 23%, and Atlanta is
      home to a high number of black-owned businesses.  African Americans make
      up 61% of Atlanta's population.
      Washington, D.C., ranks as the No. 2 city.  Sixty percent of African
      Americans who constitute the city's total population are among the
      nation's best educated and highest paid.  It has the second lowest black
      unemployment rate, 7.6%, of the top 10, well below the national average
      of 10.2%.
      Dallas, Texas, returns to our best cities list at No. 3, up from No. 8
      in 2001.  Dallas placed third among the top 10 cities in median household
      income for black families, future job growth, and black high school
      graduation rate.
      Nashville, Tennessee, is a new entry to the top 10, ranking No. 4, with a
      low cost of living as the city's biggest draw.  Only Houston and Memphis
      have lower cost of living indices.
      Houston, Texas, ranks No. 5 primarily because of residents' high
      satisfaction with quality of life.  Formerly No. 1, Houston's drop is due
      to its above average median cost index and its higher unemployment and
      violent crime rates.
      Charlotte, North Carolina, appears again on the top cities list, falling
      two spots to No. 6.  Charlotte earned high marks for cost of living,
      diversity, and economic growth.  The city is a youthful, mobile hub for
      professionals (the median age is 32.8), and future job growth is fairly
      strong at 18.7%.
      Birmingham, Alabama, new to the list, ranks at No. 7.  Birmingham is the
      least populous city among the top 10 but has a city population that is
      nearly 75% African American.  While race relations are a concern for
      residents, the city boasts the highest percentage of African American
      homeowners, 58%, among the top 10.
      Rounding out the top 10 are Memphis, Tennessee, ranked at No. 8;
      Columbus, Ohio, ranked at No. 9; and Baltimore, Maryland, ranked at No.
     The July issue of BLACK ENTERPRISE with full profiles of each city is
 available on newsstands June 29.