Structural inequities along racial lines have worsened in a handful of states over the past year, according to a financial news outlet’s analysis of socioeconomic data in the U.S. In the second installment of its special report “Worst States for Black Americans,” 24/7 Wall Street revealed the 10 states where the disparity between black and white Americans is most dramatic.
The report comes amid a monthslong national debate about racial inequality in the U.S. criminal justice system, which relates to the opportunity gap and economic disparity fueling racial tensions, authors of the special report stated this week. To compile their list, 24/7 Wall Street examined a number of federally tracked socioeconomic measures, including statewide rates of unemployment, incarceration and homeownership.
The three worst states cited in the latest report – Illinois, Minnesota and Wisconsin – have over the past six months seen protests over fatal police shootings and general discontent with the economic outlook for black Americans.
Valerie Wilson, director of the Program on Race, Ethnicity and the Economy at the Economic Policy Institute in Washington, D.C., told 24/7 Wall Street that it’s “hard to find a state where outcomes for African-Americans are very good.” Not one state has better socioeconomic outcomes for blacks than for whites, according to the report.
Decades of state and federal policies have contributed to black-white disparities, the report authors stated. Government-sponsored housing segregation – namely red-lining lending policies that made it nearly impossible for African-American homebuyers to get mortgages in majority-white neighborhoods -- are among the primary sources of economic and social inequality. But few federal solutions have been implemented to make up for that practice, which stunted the ability for black families to accumulate wealth between generations and ensure better outcomes for their offspring.
To see 24/7 Wall Street’s list of worst states for black Americans, click here.