Faring best economically

Black residents thrive most in this diverse Dallas-Fort Worth city, study shows

Black residents thrive most in this diverse DFW city, study shows

Couple buying a house
Grand Prairie ties with Virginia Beach, Virginia, as the place where Black Americans fare best economically.  Photo courtesy of Austin Board of Realtors

By at least one measure, Grand Prairie ranks as the best U.S. city for Black Americans.

In a study released February 5 in conjunction with Black History Month, personal finance website SmartAsset puts Grand Prairie in a tie with Virginia Beach, Virginia, as the place where Black Americans fare best economically. SmartAsset took into account six factors in analyzing 129 of the largest U.S. cities: median Black household income, Black homeownership rate, share of Black adults with a bachelor’s degree, share of business owners who are Black, Black participation in the workforce, and Black poverty rate.

“Nationwide, when it comes to wealth and personal finance success, Black Americans have struggled more compared to the rest of the population. ... In some parts of the country, however, economic outcomes for Black Americans are more favorable,” the study says.

According to the study, Grand Prairie boasts the fourth highest Black workforce participation rate (79.9 percent) and the lowest Black poverty rate (less than 5 percent) among all 129 cities in the study. Additionally, more than one-third of Black adults in Grand Prairie hold a bachelor’s degree (ranked sixth out of 129), and the median Black household income exceeds $63,000 (ranked 10th out of 129).

Close to 23 percent of Grand Prairie’s nearly 195,000 residents — or more than 44,000 people — identify as Black, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Statewide, almost 13 percent of residents are Black. Niche.com ranks Grand Prairie as DFW’s sixth most diverse suburb.

Among the top 25 cities in the SmartAsset study, Dallas-Fort Worth claims six spots. The other DFW city in the top 10 is Garland, ranked seventh.

SmartAsset says the Black homeownership rate in Garland is the fifth highest in the study (50.98 percent), while the Black workforce participation rate comes in at No. 11 (75.8 percent). It also ranks in the top 15 for median Black household income ($60,030) and the share of Black adults with a bachelor’s degree (32.5 percent). However, Garland’s poverty rate for Black residents (23.7 percent) is the worst of any city in the top 10.

Nearly 15 percent (about 36,000) of Garland’s roughly 240,000 residents are Black, the Census Bureau says.

The four other DFW cities in the top 25 are:

  • Arlington, No. 11. Its Black homeownership rate (32.74 percent) far surpasses that of Plano (20.54 percent) and Irving (17.91 percent).
  • Plano, No. 12. Among the top 25, it nabs the highest share of Black adults with a bachelor’s degree (48.4 percent).
  • Irving, tied for No. 14 with Nashville. Of the DFW cities in the top 25, it ranks third for Black household income ($60,672).
  • Fort Worth, No. 25. At 24.8 percent, Cowtown exceeds the national average (22.5 percent) for Black adults with a bachelor’s degree.

Outside DFW, only one Texas city appears in the study’s top 25 (El Paso, at No. 16).