Tag: Foreclosures

Thursday Data Dump: Foreclosures in Minneapolis in 2016

As today’s data will illustrate, foreclosures are not distributed throughout the city equally. So here are a couple of things to keep in mind while sifting through this data table.

First, 37 percent of the foreclosures in Minneapolis resided on the north side of the city in 2016 – 22.4 percent of the foreclosures were in the 4th Ward and 14.6 percent of the foreclosures were in the 5th Ward.

Second, these were the only two wards with a foreclosure percentage greater than 10 percent. Of course, these two wards have been like this for sometime.

I wrote about this very subject a few times back in 2015. As I explained back then in A Comparison of Minneapolis’ Foreclosure Rates by Ward and Foreclosure Rates: Wards 4, 5, and 10 from 2006 to 2015, the 4th and 5th Wards accounted for about 40 percent of the foreclosures in the city. And as this current data illustrates, these two wards still account for about the same percentage.

Minneapolis: 2016 Foreclosure Data

Ward 1st Quarter 2nd Quarter 3rd Quarter 4th Quarter Total Percent
1 3 7 8 5 23 6.71
2 6 3 4 1 14 4.08
3 2 4 4 8 18 5.25
4 26 16 19 16 77 22.4
5 19 17 7 7 50 14.6
6 3 5 1 1 10 2.92
7 2 4 4 3 13 3.79
8 9 7 8 5 29 8.45
9 13 5 7 3 28 8.16
10 3 1 4 2 10 2.92
11 6 8 4 3 21 6.12
12 5 7 9 12 33 9.62
13 4 6 4 3 17 4.96
Total 101 90 83 69 343 100.0

(Source: City of Minneapolis)

So as far as proportionality is concerned, not much has changed.

The bright side is that foreclosures have definitely decreased in both wards. However, the question is what will happen to these wards when the market decides to take another nose dive?

The 4th and 5th Wards are not as economically stable as other parts of the city. But the point here is that education, as we’ve seen, provides greater earnings power, and thus greater economic stability and security. Of course as the readers of this blog know very well, earnings increases with education according to the data that has been observed so far.

So it should follow that more education will facilitate greater earnings which will in turn facilitate greater economic stability and security which in turn will decrease foreclosures.

Going forward, what does the foreclosure data look like for 2017 and how does it compare to 2016? And what does the system’s behavior of this foreclosure data look like over the period of a few years? Are foreclosures decreasing throughout Minneapolis and are there any wards  that are bucking this trend? And the big question, will this even have an impact on the mayoral and city council races?


Matt has a Bachelor of Science in Systems Science, with focuses in applied mathematics and economic systems, from Iowa State University. He is also a professional member of the Society of Industrial and Applied Mathematics and the International Society for the Systems Sciences and a scholarly member of Omicron Delta Epsilon, which is an International Honors Society for Economics. 

You can connect with him directly in the comments section, and follow him on Facebook

You can also follow The Systems Scientist on Twitter or Facebook.


Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons







Copyright ©2017 – The Systems Scientist

Patterns of the 5th Ward: Unemployment

By Matt Johnson

Patterns provide us with some insight into the behaviors of systems. With one pattern, say unemployment, it’s a simple behavior and it shows us a piece of the picture. With multiple patterns, say unemployment, foreclosures, and education levels, we can see multiple behaviors which provide us a different perspective from each individual pattern. Added together, they show us a more complex behavior of the system. Hence with each article, the data provides us with a much fuller description of discrepancies between areas within the 5th Ward, and between the 5th Ward and the rest of Minneapolis, at least with how the city looked in 2013.

Matt Johnson, The Systems Scientist
Matt Johnson, The Systems Scientist

As Table 1 shows us, there was an obvious and disturbing contrast between the zip codes and their respective unemployment percentages. But we must note one thing first before we continue.

Although the 55401 and 55405 are only partially in the 5th Ward, whereas the 55411 resides completely in the 5th Ward, the data in this table can still provide us with some inference and intuition between the respective zip codes. In other words, the 55401 and 55405 zip codes reside in multiple wards.

As the data illustrates, there was a clear distinction between the three zip codes. Whereas the 55401 and the 55405 expressed an unemployment percentage comparable to the General Minneapolis System (GMS) in 2013, which started off at 5.2 percent early in 2013 and decreased to 4.3 percent late in the year as Table 2 illustrates, the 55411 system experienced an unemployment reality three to four times higher than its neighbor zip codes. Clearly from these two pieces of data and the simple systems’ behaviors that represent them, a person in the 5th Ward, depending on where they lived, more than likely experienced a much different reality compared to other residents of the 5th Ward. Why might this be?

Table 1
Table 1

History indicates a much different experience for “black” Americans than it does for “white” Americans. Whereas, “white” Americans have benefitted from a plethora of economic, political, social, and ecological resources, “black” Americans have been much less fortunate. And many times, this has had to do with redlining policies at the local and federal level, which segregated “blacks” into certain, undesired neighborhoods. In many ways, Minneapolis is still reflective of this past.

To illustrate this point, the 55401 and 55405 zip codes were majority “white” in 2013; whereas, the 55411 zip code was predominantly “black” in 2013 This fact was illustrated in Patterns of the 5th Ward: “Race”. There were important questions posed in this previous article.

One question posed, will a depressed part of town have a higher percentage of American citizens who are “black” and unemployed? We have enough information now to show that not only does the 55411 have a majority “black” population contrasted to the majority “white” populations of the 55401 and 55405, but the unemployment rate was three to four times higher in the 55411 than it was in the 55401 and 55405 in 2013.

Table 2
Table 2

In some instances, the unemployment rate was as high as 40 percent in some of the neighborhoods within the 55411 zip code where the population was majority “black” in 2013 according to city-data.com. Thus, we have answered a key question from the first article of this series. And now we also have data to back up our hypothesis.

In the next article Patterns of the 5th Ward: Foreclosures, what will we expect to find? Will we expect to find a similar relationship and systems’ behavior where the number of foreclosures in the 55411 zip code is much higher than the number of foreclosures in the 55401 or 55405? In other words, should we expect to find higher foreclosure numbers in parts of the 5th Ward, which are predominantly “black,” or should we expect to find higher foreclosure numbers in the parts of the 5th Ward, which are predominantly “white?”

For further exploration of this subject, read the first part of this series Patterns of the 5th Ward: “Race” and Minneapolis, Yesterday, Today, and the Continuous Disparity of History.

**Remember, there is nothing more American than discourse. You are always welcome to post your comments, thoughts, and questions below. Feedback is always appreciated!


The General System of Minneapolis: Foreclosures

By Matt Johnson

I have touched on the general behaviors of the Minneapolis General System, but I have not delved into great detail on the subject matter nor have I given the general system its due attention. On the other hand, I have discussed some systems behaviors in the 2nd, 4th, 5th, 10th, and 12th Wards of Minneapolis. More specifically,  I discussed the 4th and 5th Wards in the greatest detail compared to the other wards.

In this short article, I will begin an analysis of the general, and simple, behaviors of the general system of Minneapolis starting with foreclosures. This is important and necessary because I want to show that there are differences or similarities in behaviors between various subsystems in Minneapolis and the general system of Minneapolis itself.

Figure 1
Figure 1

As we can see in Figure 1, foreclosures in Minneapolis have been decreasing since they peaked near 900 properties in early 2008. In fact, foreclosures have decreased by almost 9 times. And with the exception of the spike in 2010, foreclosures have dropped down to near 100 properties for the City of Minneapolis in the 2nd Quarter of 2015.

Clearly that’s quite a recovery and a step, if not two or three steps, in the right direction. It’s something that isn’t necessarily pointed out or focused on in the press or social media, at least from this perspective. And to be honest and forthright, the economic positives have not been discussed very much here on Urban Dynamics. But this author digresses.

Now, this graph only provides us with a single perspective of the system, but it provides us with a piece of the picture nonetheless. And from this narrow perspective, we can still speculate, infer, and make predictions that there are other positive things happening in the general system and we should expect other positive things to happen in accordance with a reduction in foreclosures.

But we should ask ourselves a question before we analyze and address other general system’s patterns, “Do the foreclosure behaviors of the different Minneapolis wards mimic or reflect the behavior of the general Minneapolis system?” In other words, will the behavior of the 5th Ward in North Minneapolis or the 2nd Ward in Southeast Minneapolis, for example, be similar to the general system’s behavior of Minneapolis? And if they aren’t the same, what does it mean? Food for thought!

For further reading on similar subject matter, I invite you to read Foreclosure Rates: Wards 2, 4, and 5 from 2006 to 2015 to view foreclosure patterns and compare. Are the foreclosure patterns different or similar? And I invite you to read Urban Decay and North Minneapolis.

Remember, you are always welcome to post your comments, thoughts, and questions below. Feedback is always appreciated.

Which zip code has the lowest median household income in Minneapolis?

We have established some differences between different parts of the City of Minneapolis. For example, we know that the foreclosure numbers and rates are the highest in Wards 4 and 5 in North Minneapolis as Figure 2 demonstrates. We know that both of those wards also have the highest concentration of condemned and vacant buildings. But we now have some additional information to add to this difference – Median Household Income.

Figure 1 provides us an opportunity to compare and contrast two zip codes in North Minneapolis and two zip codes in South Minneapolis. As we can see, the percentage of median household incomes in the two zip codes in South Minneapolis – 55406 and 55419 – are higher than the two zip codes on the north side.

2013 Median Household Income for Minneapolis Zip Codes greater than $75 K
Data Provided by http://www.city-data.com – Data Organized and Presented by Urban Dynamics –  Figure 1


Whereas the median household income greater than $75 thousand is above 35 percent in the 55406 and almost 60 percent in the 55419, we see that the median household income greater than $75 thousand is only about 15 percent for the 55411 and about 25 percent for the 55412. Clearly, there is a difference ranging from 10 percent to 45 percent depending on what zip codes we compare.

Percent of Foreclosures for Wards 4 5 and 10 2006 to 2015
Data Provided by http://www.city-data.com – Data Organized and Presented by Urban Dynamics –  Figure 1

Moving forward, this data will add to our already accumulated knowledge of North Minneapolis and Minneapolis in general. But what are some questions we may want to ask from this new information? Since we have some knowledge about foreclosure rates and condemned and vacant buildings, perhaps we will want to see if there is a correlation between median household incomes and foreclosures and condemned and vacant buildings.

Or what about knowing the levels and rates of home ownership in the respective zip codes? How does the north side compare to the south side in home ownership? These questions are important because we agree that home ownership is a part of the American dream, right? And finally, these questions are important because eventually they will lend to future policies.

Author’s Notes:

  1. Data from Figure 1 is drawn from http://www.city-data.com and represents the year 2013.
  2. Data from Figure 2 is drawn from the City of Minneapolis’ Minneapolis Trends Report.