Fast facts about African Americans in Omaha

Fast facts about African Americans in Omaha

Omaha has staggering poverty, particularly among African Americans, that is disproportionate to its total population. This from a city that has prided itself for forward-development for more than 20 years. The following statistics speak for themselves.


  • There were 390,007 total residents in Omaha in 2000.
  • Omaha is the 42nd largest city in the US.
  • In 2000 Omaha had 51,910 African American residents; in 2005 there were 49,912
  • African American comprised 13% of Omaha’s total population in 2000.


  • There are 5 Fortune 500 companies in Omaha today.
  • In 2008 there are 2,688 minority-owned businesses in the five-county Omaha metropolitan statistical area.
  • 50% of all minority-owned businesses in Omaha are owned by blacks.
  • In 2004 the median income of a family in Omaha was $44,636
  • That same year the median income of an African American family in Omaha was $25,280.
  • The overall unemployment rate in Omaha is 3.6%.
  • The black unemployment rate in Omaha is 17%.
  • White people make up 89.3% of the workforce in Omaha; blacks make up 5.5%.
  • The white unemployment rate in Omaha is 3.1%; the black unemployment rate is 10.5%.
  • Omaha ranks 8th in the nation for black African American unemployment.
  • Omaha ranks 1st among American cities for the total number of African Americans who qualify as low-income.
  • Only 1 other city in the US has greater disparities between the wealth of blacks and whites.
  • 6.7% of families in Omaha living below poverty line.
  • 1 out of 3 of African American families in Omaha live in poverty.
  • 6 out of 10 black children in Omaha live in poverty.
  • Omaha ranks number 1 among American cities for its total percentage of impoverished black children.


  • 35% of African American students in Omaha do not graduate from high school.
  • Omaha ranks 40th among cities across the US for racial segregation.
  • African Americans comprise 4% of Nebraska’s population.
  • Nebraska’s prisons have a 25% African American population.


This is a map of the racial divide in Omaha, with the image made by Dustin Cable. White: blue dots; African American: green dots; Asian: red; Latino: orange; all others: brown. Note that the community I grew up in and focus on in this blog is in the upper right hand corner of this image.

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