North Minneapolis: A Review and More Questions

With each additional, published article concerning North Minneapolis on this site, we have been building a foundation to illustrate the differences between Wards 4 and 5 on the north side compared to the Wards in other parts of the city. So far, we have established a few facts. First, Wards 4 and 5 currently have the highest numbers of foreclosures in the City of Minneapolis.

Second, Wards 4 and 5 have the highest rates of foreclosures in the city. And third, North Minneapolis has the highest concentration of condemned and vacant buildings. In other words, geographical information systems evidence direct from the City of Minneapolis website has illustrated a much larger grouping of condemned and vacant buildings in the two north side wards than any other part of the city. But in what other areas does North Minneapolis differ?

Does North Minneapolis have higher or lower unemployment rates than other parts of the city? Does North Minneapolis have higher or lower crime rates? Does North Minneapolis have higher or lower levels of home ownership? Does North Minneapolis have higher or lower levels of education? And does North Minneapolis have a higher or lower population of “black” residents compared to the rest of the city?

Certainly history shows a difference between which groups were favored economically, politically, and socially and which groups were not. As an example, history shows how “black” Americans who migrated to the northern industrial cities during the Great Migration between 1920 and 1940 were immediately greeted by a city’s local law enforcement, or some sort of city representation, at the train station, and directed and partitioned into the undesirable neighborhoods of the city. And as a consequence over the following decades, these groups of people and their children experienced segregation in all forms.

Based off of this short historical narrative and the information we’ve already established about North Minneapolis, we should find a larger “black” population in that part of the city compared to the rest of the city.  And because of the foreclosure numbers and rates, and the high concentration of condemned and vacant buildings, we should find higher crime rates compared to the rest of the city, higher unemployment rates, lower education levels, and lower levels of home ownership.

But there is another interesting question. Will we find differences within the wards themselves? In other words, will we find a difference in the number of foreclosures between the zip codes in the 4th Ward, for example? That is, will we find a difference in foreclosures between 55412 and 55430, which are both 4th Ward zip codes? Will we find differences in crime rates between the two zip codes? Will we find differences in education levels and economic earnings? It is certainly possible.

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