Atlanta – The National Urban League released its annual report on the state of black America on Tuesday, and its findings are grim. This year’s Equality Index shows that blacks still only get 73.9% of the American pie that whites enjoy.
While blacks have made economic and health gains, they have fallen further behind whites in education, social justice and civic engagement since the index was launched in 2005. The compendium of average scores by race in many aspects of life shows how difficult it is for people of color to overcome systemic racism, according to the civil rights organization.
“These numbers are changing so little and so slowly. What it tells me is that this race-based institutional disparity seems to be baked into American society,” National Urban League President Marc Morial said in a statement. an interview.
The index shows that the median household income of blacks, at $43,862, is 37% lower than that of whites, at $69,823. Blacks are also less likely to benefit from home ownership, the driver of generational wealth in America. Census data shows that black couples are more than twice as likely as whites to be denied a mortgage or home improvement loan, which is just 59% of the median net worth of white households and only 13% of their wealth.
“In this area of wealth, we’ve seen almost no change, none, since the days of civil rights,” Morial said. “Wealth disparity has widened.”
Among dozens of health metrics, one stands out: Life expectancy has dropped slightly for African Americans, so a black child born today can expect to live to age 74.7, or four years younger than a white baby. And lifelong inequalities are looming: Black women are 59% more likely to die after having a child and 31% more likely to die of breast cancer. Black men are 52% more likely to die from prostate cancer.
Overdoses affect races in much the same way, while whites are 55% more likely to die of alcohol from cirrhosis or chronic liver disease. Among people aged 15 to 24, white people are more than twice as likely to commit suicide, while black men are nine times more likely to die by homicide.
Education gaps abound: Black and white preschoolers are about equally prepared, but the classrooms they enter are starkly different. Schools with more minority students are more likely to have inexperienced, less trained, and even uncertified teachers. Fewer of these students are enrolled in STEM courses that can lead to better paying jobs. Black students are less likely to graduate from college.
The index uses statistics from the US Department of Justice to plot differences in social justice, noting that black people are more than twice as likely as white people to experience threats or use force in encounters with police. , and three times more likely to be imprisoned if caught. In 2020, they were 93% more likely to be victims of hate crimes.
Measuring civic engagement, the index cites 2020 census data showing white people are about 5% more likely to be registered and actually vote than black people.
Morial chose to publish the report in Atlanta, where a concentration of historically black universities has long represented high achievement among African Americans, in part because his survey shows declining confidence among young people that the vote can make a difference. The Urban League reacted by launching a “Reclaim Your Vote” campaign.
“Georgia is ground zero for voter suppression. The actions of the legislature after Jan. 6 have been sweeping in their aggressiveness to suppress the vote,” Morial said. “We have to stay resolute, push this back. We can’t back down. We can’t give up.”