In the wake of Charlottesville, racial issues dominate the news. As much of the country rallies against racism, data suggests that the United States is a long way from full social or material equality. While racism may no longer be entrenched in laws, the result of years of discrimination is clear in today’s racial divide and myriad inequalities. Recent growing visibility of white supremacist, neo-Nazi and alt-right groups have further strained race relations.
Important pieces of legislation, including the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, represent important landmarks in ensuring that people of all racial backgrounds have the same opportunities. However, even decades later, vast inequalities remain between whites and blacks in the United States.
> African American population: 5.6% (21st smallest)
> Median household income: $45,217 (black), $75,933 (white)
> Unemployment rate: 8.8% (black), 5.4% (white)
> Homeownership rate: 33.3% (black), 62.5% (white)
> Incarceration rate (per 100,000): 1,767 (black), 201 (white)
Today, the typical white household’s income is nearly double the typical black household’s income. Black Americans are twice as likely to be unemployed and two and a half times more likely to live in poverty compared to white Americans. Just 1 in 5 African American adults have a college education, compared to 1 in 3 white adults.
Racial inequalities can be found in even the most progressive parts of the country. However, racially-driven outcomes are far more pronounced in some areas than in others. In South Dakota, the black poverty rate is 52.5%, over five times the white poverty rate. In New Mexico, the black infant mortality rate is nearly three times that of the white infant mortality rate. Considering 10 separate social and economic measures that tend to be unequal along racial lines, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed and ranked all 50 U.S. states based on inequality, from most to least equal.