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
http://www.blackenterprise.com 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
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
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.
SOURCE BLACK ENTERPRISE