Earlier national studies also have pointed to troubling patterns in and around Columbus. That struggle, some observers say, can be obscured by the area’s growth and relatively low unemployment rate.
“It definitely affirms some of the things we’ve been looking at,” said Jason Reece, director of research at Ohio State University’s Kirwan Institute, which studies race, ethnicity and community disparities. “The bifurcation that we’re starting to see — it’s been there for a while, and it’s expanding.”
A report this year ranked Columbus as the second most economically segregated major metro area in the country, after Austin, Texas. And a 2013 study found that Columbus is among the least-promising places in the nation for low-income children to climb the financial ladder.