PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN/Stacker) — As the Nation’s first ‘whites-only’ state, Oregon has not always been a welcoming place for people of color to put down roots. And while Oregon’s diversity and principles have grown since its statehood, the impacts of Black exclusion laws can still be seen today.

According to Census Bureau data, in 2019 the Black-white homeownership gap had reached 30%, which is wider than the gap reported in 1968 — when the Fair Housing Act, banning racial discrimination when selling, renting, or financing a home, was passed. 

In the US, homeownership can create a pathway to generational wealth and financial independence, but Black homebuyers have historically faced systematic barriers, such as redlining and unfairly high interest rates from mortgage lenders and real estate agents which often generate racial homeownership gaps.

Based on 2019 Census data, approximately 72% of white families were reported homeowners, compared to only 42% of Black families. 

The data shows Black homeownership rates have been on a steady decline, dating back to before the house market crash of 2008.

In 2019 the average first home purchased by a Black buyer was valued at $127,000 but accrued $90,000 in mortgage debt, while first-time homes purchased by white buyers were valued at $139,000 with a $75,000 mortgage debt.

Based on this trend, Black buyers face more debt for a lesser value, which weakens their return on investment. 

Using data from the US Census, the Stacker list below illustrates the Black homeownership gap in Oregon, where the homeownership rate represents the percent of all owner-occupied households in 2019.

The Black homeownership gap in Oregon

  • Black homeownership gap: 29.7%
  • #15 lowest among all states
  • Homeownership rate: 62.9%
  • Black homeownership rate: 36.5% (#23 lowest among all states)
  • White homeownership rate: 66.2%
  • American Indian and Alaska Native homeownership rate: 48.4%
  • Asian homeownership rate: 62.4%
  • Hispanic homeownership rate: 45.9%

According to the data, the state with the highest Black homeownership gap was North Dakota at 61.5%, followed by Wyoming with 56.6% and Minnesota at 51.7%. 

Washington, D.C. reportedly had the lowest Black homeownership gap in the US with only 15.3%, followed by Alaska 23.1% and Maryland at 24.9%.