Arizona Ranked as One of the Best States for Racial Economic Equality Between Black, White People
PHOENIX, AZ – June 23, 2020 – ANDY BLYE, CONTRIBUTING WRITER
Arizona ranked No.3 nationally for state economies with the most racial equality, according to a study released by WalletHub. The study specifically quantified disparities between white and black people across eight economic measures.
All 50 states and Washington, D.C., were ranked by disparities in median annual household income, labor-force participation rate, unemployment rate, homeownership rate, poverty rate, homeless rate, share of unsheltered homeless and share of executives.
The top states with the most economic equality between black and white people were Alaska in first place, followed by New Mexico and Arizona. The bottom states were Illinois and Wisconsin, and the District of Columbia ranked last at No. 51.
The ranking comes as discussions of systemic racial inequality flood the nation following the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery.
Two factors pushed Arizona up in the national ranking: a small median annual income gap (in second place nationally behind Alaska) and a small labor-force participation rate gap (fourth nationally.)
The study included data from the U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
However, in Arizona, the disparities between white and black people do not tell the entire story. Arizona’s population has a greater portion of white and Hispanic people and fewer black people compared with the nation at large.
According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, 82.8% of Arizonans are white; 5.3% are Native American or Alaskan, 5.1% are black, 3.7% are Asian and 0.3% are native to Hawaii or another Pacific Island and 2.9% have two or more of these races present.
The Census Bureau separates questions about race from Hispanic origin. Consequently, Hispanics may be a part of any of the races mentioned above. In Arizona, 31.6% of people are Hispanic, compared with 18.3% nationally.
The median income for white Arizonan households was $61,080 in 2018, $50,068 for black households and $50,140 for Hispanic households. Asian households had the highest median income at $81,026, according to 2018 estimates from the Census Bureau.
Economic disparities between races and ethnicities touch the entire country, but it is particularly pronounced between black and white Americans. Nationally, black people are unemployed at a higher rate than whites, they have nearly 10 times less wealth than whites and make up a small percent of corporate executives compared with their share of the population.