Racial Inequality Hinders Kansas City Area’s Economy, Report Finds

Widening racial gaps in income, health, and work opportunities are putting the entire Kansas City area’s economic future at risk, according to a new study. The trend will turn around only if the nine-country metropolitan area improves its “equity profile,” researchers planned to tell civic leaders at a luncheon Tuesday. That means expanding programs and policies to help people of color live in safer neighborhoods, get better educations and obtain decent-paying jobs.

The Mid-America Regional Council and the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce commissioned the study and wants to focus the attention of well-educated, well-off whites on the problem. Improving the economic lot of the area’s racial minorities is essential, the report said. By 2040, 42 percent of the area’s population is likely to be composed of minorities. In 2010, Census data put that share at 27 percent.

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