Minnesota is prosperous but has deep racial disparities : Planet Money : The Indicator from Planet Money Minnesota is often touted as one of the best places to live in the U.S. — it has the numbers to prove it. And yet, the state has some of the worst racial disparities of any state in the country.

The Minnesota Paradox

The Minnesota Paradox

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ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images
Protesters hold up signs during a "Black Lives Matter" protest in front of Borough Hall on June 8, 2020 in New York City.  (Photo by ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images)
ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images

Minnesota's Twin Cities — St. Paul and Minneapolis — have some of the best statistics around when it comes to quality of life. The Twin Cities are ranked among the best places to live in the U.S. They have high home ownership rates, high education rates, high life expectancy and high incomes.

The state of Minnesota also has a history of progressive laws and institutions. The University of Minnesota, for example, was graduating black physicians, chemists and nurses in the early 1900s.

Despite all of this, Minnesota has some of the most glaring racial disparities in the US: Income, education levels, life expectancy, health statistics, business ownership all reflect some of the worst racial disparities in the country. Black Minnesotans' unemployment rates have been more than double that of white Minnesotans.

So what's going on in Minnesota. Why this paradox?

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