The Situation in West Louisville Today
About 760,000 people live in Louisville. White residents make up about 74 percent of the city’s population, while black residents make up just more than 20 percent, according to a 2015 report from the Metropolitan Housing Coalition.
West Louisville has a population of 62,000 residents, which would make it Kentucky’s 3 largest city. Eighty percent of those residents are African-American. In Louisville Metro, 24 percent of children live in poverty; in the West End, this jumps to 58 percent. The median household income in the West End is less than half of what it is in Louisville. New Legacy has deemed West Louisville “Too Big to Fail” is determined to
The majority of public housing units (77 percent) are located in just two Louisville Metro Council districts: 4 and 6.
The public housing units located in council district 4 alone account for 55 percent of all occupied public housing units.
U.S. Census data show some portions of western Louisville, such as Park Hill and California, are populated nearly entirely by black families. Eastern Louisville areas, such as Indian Hills and Deer Park, are similarly populated by white families.
The epicenter of the divide is Ninth Street in downtown Louisville. It’s the physical and cultural barrier that has, for years, split the city between black and white. West of Ninth Street, there are large pockets of poverty and few economic prospects for the people who live there. It’s also the border of stark disparities in the community.
According to data from the Environmental Protection Agency, West Louisville has the highest concentration of minority and low-income residents exposed to high levels of pollution in the city. Nearly a dozen chemical plants are situated in Rubbertown, which sits just south of the thousands of residents living west Louisville. It’s a concentration of environmental risk found nowhere else in the city. There is also the problem of violence. Nearly half of the 348 reported shootings in 2015 came from neighborhoods in West Louisville.