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Inaugural list identifies and ranks America’s best cities for African Americans

In nearly every news cycle there’s a story about the struggles faced by African Americans in our nation’s cities. Sadly, no place has yet to solve all issues of inequality for its residents. However, many smaller to mid-sized U.S. cities offer more level playing fields than their larger counterparts. With this in mind, Livability.com has named Frankfort one of the 10 Best Cities for African Americans, 2016.

How did we select the cities? When we create one of our monthly Top 10 lists, we are looking at livability through a certain lens. Those lenses include demographic (families), lifestyle (foodies, beer lovers), life stage (retirees, college towns) as well as our overall Top 100 Best Places to Live (2016) and Top 100 Small Towns.

To select these cities, our editors followed a data driven approach starting with basic indicators of livability, including parks, cost of living, Walk Score, climate, crime, and air quality, as well as measures of health care availability and quality, economic equality, and commute time. Editors then looked for areas with higher-than-average populations of African Americans and places where they are succeeding in terms of income, homeownership and academic achievement. Desirability was measured by analyzing areas where African Americans are moving to at higher rates. Finally, editors factored in lifestyle and consumer data from Esri.

Editors then narrowed down the list looking for cities in a range of sizes and geographies. Interestingly, this list featured an unusual amount of communities housing or surrounding military bases, but there are plenty of other options as well.

“Our nation’s largest cities, as well as towns in the rural South have traditionally been the go-to centers of African-American life,” said Livability editor and chief trend analyst, Matt Carmichael. “But I think this list shows that, today, smaller and mid-size cities throughout the U.S. can be great places for African Americans.”

Frankfort has experienced the greatest increase in African-American residents out of all the cities on this list. As the state’s capital city, Frankfort boasts a large number of state government jobs, traditionally filled by significant numbers of African Americans. Kentucky State University’s Regional Stewardship & Community Engagement program works with leaders in Frankfort government and nonprofit organizations to improve the quality of life of African-American residents. Frankfort’s central location between Louisville and Lexington means African Americans can take advantage of the cultural and entertainment options these two cities offer.

10 Best Cities for African Americans, 2016

  • 1. Tallahassee, FL
  • 2. Lansing, MI
  • 3. North Las Vegas, NV
  • 4. York, PA
  • 5. La Vergne, TN
  • 6. Springfield, MA
  • 7. Stockbridge, GA
  • 8. Horn Lake, MS
  • 9. Lawton, OK
  • 10. Frankfort, KY