Children in Library

EQUITY & SOCIOECONOMICS

Significant disparities exist between people of color and whites in the Region, particularly in the Milwaukee metropolitan area, with respect to educational attainment levels, per capita income, and poverty. These disparities are long-standing, and are more pronounced than in almost all other metro areas. VISION 2050 includes equity analyses that evaluate the benefits and impacts of the recommended land use and transportation systems, as well as the Fiscally Constrained Transportation System (the portion of the recommended transportation system that can be implemented with reasonably expected revenues).  Review how the Milwaukee metro area ranks in terms of some of these racial disparities and the location of environmental justice populations in the Region (defined here as people of color, families in poverty, and people with disabilities). Then, explore more equity-related metrics on Equity & Land Use and Equity & Transportation pages.

RACIAL DISPARITIES IN THE MILWAUKEE METRO AREA:

The Commission's report A Comparison of the Milwaukee Metro Area to its Peers provides a statistical comparison of the Milwaukee metro area with 14 other metro areas in the Midwest and 14 other metro areas throughout the Nation. The report assesses how the Milwaukee metro area compares with other areas on a number of key measures, including population growth and characteristics, the economy, housing, and transportation.

 

The Second Edition of the report published in 2020 revealed that, when compared to its peers, the Milwaukee area is a slow growth area, has an unbalanced transportation system, and that there are significant racial disparities—specifically in educational attainment and income. The report showed that disparities between whites and people of color are far more pronounced than such disparities in almost all other metro areas. 

Midwest Metropolitan Comparisons: Racial Disparities in Education and Income

Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census American Community Survey

Download Data

POPULATION BY RACE AND ETHNICITY

This map shows the existing concentrations of people in the Region by race and ethnicity estimated from data available from the most recent U.S. Census.

 

As of 2010, the Region's population was:

  •  71.1% White alone, non-Hispanic

  • 15.8% Black/African American

  • 1.1% American Indian and Alaska Native

  • 3.1% Asian and Pacific Islander

  • 4.5% Another Race

  • 9.9% Hispanic

 

Note: These percentages do not add up to 100% because people of Hispanic ethnicity may be of any race, and Census respondents can identify as one or more races.

A large portion of the Region's people of color are located in Milwaukee County, where the total population is made up of 46% people of color.

Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census and SEWRPC

FAMILIES IN POVERTY

This map shows the locations of higher-than-average (for the Region) concentrations of low-income populations based on the 2014-2018 American Community Survey estimates. Low-income is defined as families with incomes below the 2018 Federal poverty level. 

In Southeastern Wisconsin, 9.5% of families have incomes below the poverty level, with 67% of those families living in Milwaukee County.  

Note: Map displays census tracts wherein the percentage of families in poverty exceeds the regional average of 9.5%.

Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census American Community Survey and SEWRPC

PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES

This map shows the locations of higher-than-average (for the Region) concentrations of people with disabilities based on the 2014-2018 American Community Survey. 

In Southeastern Wisconsin,  11.8% of the population has a disability. 

Note: Map displays census tracts wherein the percentage of people with disabilities exceeds the regional average of 11.8%.

Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census American Community Survey and SEWRPC