Our Midwestern neighbors don’t fare much better; Minnesota was second worst, while Illinois ranks fifth from the bottom.
The report from 24/7 Wall Street examined educational attainment, incarceration rates, political disenfranchisement, infant mortality rates, homeownership percentages, and unemployment rates for African-Americans and white Americans in each state.
The report found that, overall, blacks are worse off than whites across each metric in every state. Nationwide, African-Americans are unemployed at twice the rate of white Americans. Poverty rates among African-Americans are threefold that of whites. Black Americans are less likely to own their own homes than white Americans. Blacks are incarcerated at a whopping five times the rate of white Americans.
The racial disparity gaps are particularly pronounced in Wisconsin. Although only 6.2 percent of Wisconsin residents are African American, the state has the third-highest black incarceration rate in the country. Over 4,000 black residents per 100,000 are behind bars.
At 11.1 percent, the unemployment rate for African Americans in Wisconsin is almost triple the rate of white Americans. Unemployment is also a huge factor for income inequality in the state. The median annual income for blacks in Wisconsin is just over $26,000, compared to over $56,000 for white Americans.
Despite Wisconsin being home to one of the nation’s top universities, less than 13 percent of Wisconsin’s black residents have a bachelor’s degree. Nationwide, nearly 20 percent of African Americans complete their college degree. Nearly 30 percent of white residents in Wisconsin have at least a bachelor’s degree.
Minnesota’s incarceration rate is nearly as bad, but it’s the income gap there that’s most pronounced: the average black household there brings in $27,026 a year, less than half of the annual income of the typical white household. Minnesota also has the second highest black unemployment rate at 14.1 percent.
In Illinois, the economic picture for white families is better than it is elsewhere in the country, while the black economic outlook is worse than average — creating a wide gap. While 10.8 percent of whites nationwide live in poverty, only 9.3 percent of whites in Illinois do. On the flip side, the national black poverty rate is still far too high at 27 percent; in Illinois, however, it’s 30.6 percent.
The 24/7 Wall Street report echoes the “Race to Equity” report released in 2013 by the Wisconsin Council on Children and Families. The “Race to Equity” report examined the breadth and depth of racial disparities between African Americans and whites in Dane County. The report showed the 32,000 blacks in Dane County have some of the worst educational and economic outcomes for African Americans in the country.
24/7 Wall Street collected the most recent data available from U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS), the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Prison Policy Initiative, the Sentencing Project and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC.) The report examined ten measures to assess racial inequality between blacks and whites in each state and explicitly examined segregation, incarceration, and education.
To read the report in full, visit 24/7 Wall Street’s website.