Report: Nearly Half the Black Men in Chicago Out of Work, School

Scott Olson/Getty Images
Scott Olson/Getty Images

Nearly half, or 47 percent, of 20-to-24 year-old black males in Chicago were out of school and unemployed in 2014, according to a study from The University of Chicago.

Statewide, about 44 percent of Illinois black men are jobless and out of school compared to Chicago’s white men, aged 20–24, where 6.7 percent are out of school and not working. The figures are equally as bleak for black women and Hispanics.

However, the report’s authors blame segregation in Chicago’s neighborhoods.

They offer maps, like the one below, which draw a correlation between the city’s non-white population and joblessness:

U.S. Census Bureau

Indeed, Chicago is one of the most segregated cities in America.

Liberal writer Ta-Nehisi Coates breaks down the racial disparities in one highly segregated area of Chicago, as seen in the map above:

North Lawndale population is 36,000. The neighborhood is 92 percent black. Its homicide rate is 45 per 100,000—triple the rate of the city as a whole. The infant-mortality rate is 14 per 1,000—more than twice the national average. Forty-three percent of the people in North Lawndale live below the poverty line—double Chicago’s overall rate. Forty-five percent of all households are on food stamps—nearly three times the rate of the city at large.

The University of Chicago’s study does not show how crime rates in the areas shown in the map above leave little chance for economic dynamism. Again, the University of Chicago’s study assigns discrimination as the culprit—as if racism explains why so many black men decide to drop out of school.

Below is a map that shows Chicago’s “shot clock” and depicts the city’s deadliest neighborhoods:

The map directly above is the same area shown in The University of Chicago’s study.

Taken together, it becomes clear that the areas in Chicago with high shooting and crime rates are the same areas with high unemployment and where blacks and Hispanics are not in school. Just more than 80 percent of the victims are black, by the way. Another 16 percent are Hispanic.

It is also worth noting that these neighborhoods—much like the city of Chicago—have been run by a Democratic party machine for more than 50 years.

The University of Chicago’s report was commissioned by the Alternative Schools Network.

Follow Jerome Hudson on Twitter @jeromeehudson.