Theodis Pace

Theodis Pace chairman of the NAACP of Kankakee County.

If you're black, the Midwest has been unkind to you.

At least that's the latest from 24/7 Wall St., an online business news site, which last week ran a story with this headline: "The Worst Cities for Black Americans."

Kankakee County was ranked No. 8 and the Top 10 list, including four cities in Illinois, are all in the Midwest.

"I don't live in the eighth worst place for blacks in America. I don't," said Theodis Pace, chairman of the local NAACP.

So why is Kankakee on the list?

The rankings factored in eight categories, including household income, poverty rate, home ownership, high school graduation, college graduation, incarceration, unemployment and mortality rates.

For example, blacks, who make up 15 percent of the county's 111,000 population, face a 20.6 percent jobless rate — sharply higher than the county's overall rate of 8.1 percent. Black households earn half of what the median white household makes and the poverty rate among blacks here is at 40 percent.

Here's the list from bad to worst.

10. Waterloo-Cedar Falls, Iowa

Percent of black residents: 7 percent

Total population: 169,993

Black median household income as percent of white: 54.9 percent

Black unemployment rate: 24 percent

Total unemployment rate: 4.9 percent

9. Des Moines-West Des Moines, Iowa

Percent of black residents: 5 percent

Total population: 611,549

Black median household income as percent of white: 57.1 percent

Black unemployment rate: 10.6 percent

Total unemployment rate: 4.2 percent

8. Kankakee County

Percent of black residents: 14.9 percent

Total population: 111,375

Black median household income as percent of white: 48.7 percent

Black unemployment rate: 20.6 percent

Total unemployment rate: 8.1 percent

7. Lima, Ohio

Percent of black residents: 12.2 percent

Total population: 105,040

Black median household income as percent of white: 36.5 percent

Black unemployment rate: 22.9 percent

Total unemployment rate: 5.7 percent

6. Peoria, Ill.

Percent of black residents: 9.1 percent

Total population: 379,520

Black median household income as percent of white: 49.1 percent

Black unemployment rate: 16.5 percent

Total unemployment rate: 7.2 percent

5. Grand Rapids-Wyoming, Mich.

Percent of black residents: 6.5 percent

Total population: 1,027,703

Black median household income as percent of white: 44.6 percent

Black unemployment rate: 13 percent

Total unemployment rate: 7.2 percent

4. Chicago-Naperville-Elgin

Percent of black residents: 16.8 percent

Total population: 9,553,810

Black median household income as percent of white: 50.1 percent

Black unemployment rate: 18.5 percent

Total unemployment rate: 7 percent

3. Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, Minn.-Wis.

Percent of black residents: 7.8 percent

Total population: 3,495,176

Black median household income as percent of white: 37.9 percent

Black unemployment rate: 12.8 percent

Total unemployment rate: 3.9 percent

2. Rockford, Ill.

Percent of black residents: 11.1 percent

Total population: 342,411

Black median household income as percent of white: 44.2 percent

Black unemployment rate: 28.9 percent

Total unemployment rate: 8.3 percent

1. Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, Wis.

Percent of black residents: 16.7 percent

Total population: 1,572,245

Black median household income as percent of white: 41.6 percent

Black unemployment rate: 17.2 percent

Total unemployment rate: 6 percent

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