ETI Publications

Document Type

Technical Paper

Publication Date



The ONE MKE Summit has raised important concerns about who defines the assets of Milwaukee neighborhoods and where the considerable income of residents in central city neighborhoods is spent. This paper, prepared for the NAACP Young Adult Committee and the African American Chamber of Commerce, details Census Bureau American Community Survey five-year estimates for 2011 by zip code and race to help describe concentrations of income for African Americans. Purchasing power profiles prepared from the 2000s are included to show the comparative advantages of urban neighborhoods with dense housing and large numbers of workers. African American residents of Milwaukee County had annual income totaling over $3.5 billion in 2011, according to the Census Bureau American Community Survey five-year estimates. Over 70% of this income ($2.56 billion out of the $3.55 billion total) is concentrated in the 9 zip codes where African Americans make up a majority of the population. African American income has tremendous economic development potential if tapped for locally-owned businesses and recycled through the community. There is a need for locally-developed, accurate descriptions of the assets of the African American community as called for by ONE MKE Summit participants. Several of the largest data marketing firms continue to denigrate predominantly African American neighborhoods and to ignore the relative advantages of urban density for retail locations.