Who would have guessed that out of all the states in America, Wyoming would be one of the best as far as racial equality goes? According to the American Community Survey, there isn't an income gap between white people and people of color. It's the only state that can boast this stat.
The only caveat is that there aren't many people of color in the state. The U.S. Census found that 92.5% of the people who live there are white. The next highest percentage is Hispanic or Latino at 10.1%, while 2.7% of the population are Native Americans.
2. West Virginia
West Virginia is second, but it isn't all made in the shade. West Virginia has a complicated past with racial equality, but studies have shown that the state also has one of the smallest education gaps. White students and students of color also have around the same standardized test scores.
One of the biggest things West Virginia can work on is the wage gap. Zippia lists the wage gap as over 32%, and that's pretty bad. West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy reported that women of color are especially impacted, only making $0.60 for every dollar a man makes.
Montana still has a long way to go as it's still a predominately white state. The population breakdown is 88.9% white, 6.4% American Indian, 4.1% Hispanic or Latino, and 0.6% African American. Many African Americans still struggle with racism, but studies found that the state has good stats.
Montana is second for the lowest gap in ACT scores between people of color and white people. The state also placed fourth for the smallest gap for adults with at least a bachelor's degree. The wage gap is also pretty decent, with only a 13.13% difference.
4. New Mexico
New Mexico is one of the few states that have worked toward racial equality before the recent Black Lives Matter protests. The state began a 10-year plan starting in 2014, outlining what other states are doing to combat racism while setting goals to stop racism in their own communities. The 100+ page report is extremely detailed, and it apparently has been helping!
New Mexico ranks fourth for the lowest median annual income gap, meaning people of color get paid about the same as white Americans. It also ranked fourth for the lowest unemployment rate gap and the smallest poverty rate gap.
Idaho is ranked pretty high for racial equality, although it has a very large white population. The state is 93% white, with the next largest group is Hispanic or Latino at 12.8%. The stats show that Idaho ranks second for the lowest gap of adults with at least a bachelor's degree, and the state is also third for lowest average ACT score gap.
However, people of color have a different story. East Idaho News reported on this subject, interviewing several people on their lives. Many stated they grew up with regular racism, thinking about everything from the way they dressed to the way they talked to avoid being accosted.
6. New Hampshire
New Hampshire may be a little lower on the list, but statistically, it's doing quite a bit. It ranked first in three categories, including the lowest standardized-test score gap, the lowest mean SAT score gap, and the lowest average ACT score gap. Apparently, education is really important in New Hampshire.
Unfortunately, New Hampshire also has one of the worst income gaps in the nation. Black Americans bring home paychecks that are 39% smaller than white Americans. As of June, New Hampshire also decided to try new methods to fight racism, including proposals to involve civilians in police oversight, more transparency in investigations of misconduct, restricting the use of force, and more.
Vermont is doing its part. Not only is the income gap lower than some of the states listed above, but it also has a -2.2% education gap, according to Zippia. U.S. News differed from the WalletHub study, finding that Vermont was first overall for racial and gender equality.
August of last year, Vermont Governor Phil Scott appointed Xusana Davis to be Vermont's first executive director of racial quality. On top of that, in March, he also signed a bill that established an Ethic and Social Equity Standards Working Group. According to Stowe Reporter, this group aimed to "adapt educational standards about diversity for Vermont's schools,"
Texas is ranked eight for states with the most racial equality. AP News also puts Texas pretty high for states that have the most racial integration. Zippia did discover that Texas only had an 11.86% income gap, but the incarceration of Black Texans was much higher than stats at 1,844 per 100,000 residents.
For a state that consistently preaches to "Remember the Alamo," it's hard for people of color to see it as anything but racist. The systematic abuse from the police toward local communities explain what people of color live with every day. Austin and other major Texas cities have had intense Black Lives Matter movements this year alone.
Arizona has mixed stats, putting it near the top but not quite in the area states should strive for. The western state has a pay gap of just 8.91%, one of the nation's lowest numbers. However, it also has an extremely high incarceration rate of 2,126 per 100,000 residents. Arizona's racial breakdown is currently 82.6% white, 31.7% Hispanic or Latino, 5.3% Native American, and 5.2% African American.
Those who live in the state have been fighting racism for quite a while. Arizona notoriously started the SB 1070 "show me your papers" legislation, which was disapproved by Americans and the U.S. Supreme Court alike. The Black Lives Matter protests were backed by the Latino community, wanting progress toward their own racial discrimination. One woman (who hears regular racial slurs as a part of her daily life) stated, "We are made to feel unwelcome here, no matter what we've done or how long we've been here."
Oklahoma made it to the top 10 for WalletHub, but we're not sure why. The only slightly positive for this state is a 20.19% income wage gap, according to Zippia. Even then, another WalletHub study for economic racial equality put Oklahoma at 26, which is similar to U.S. News’s findings. U.S. News puts it at 25 for education gap by race and 23 for employment by race. This source also put Oklahoma at 22 for income gap by race.
Tulsa alone is infamous for the behavior of residents. The United White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan have been organizing in the city since 2009. It was also where two men shot and killed three Black people, injuring two others. The attack was racially motivated. Recently this year, an ex-Tulsa detention officer was charged with first-degree manslaughter for shooting Carlos Carson. Stories like this aren't uncommon in Oklahoma.
In some lists, Tennessee ranks in the top 10, but not according to WalletHub. Tennessee has an income gap of 18.55%, according to Zippia. U.S. News ranked them as 9 for income gap by race and 10 for education by race. However, it's hard to forget Tennessee's history and behaviors from elected officials. For decades, Tennessee residents have been fighting racism.
Martin Luther King, Jr. was murdered in Memphis in 1968 while fighting for equality for all. Since the early 2000s, residents have been fighting for free speech in schools and flying the Confederate flag in public buildings. Elected officials aren't embracing equality as Rep. Mike Carter commented on his colleague, African American Democratic incumbent Joe Towns, saying he was busy "getting the secret formula to Kentucky Fried Chicken."
Kentucky actually ranked pretty high from several sources. U.S. News found that Kentucky was ranked fourth for education gap by race. It also ranked second for income gap by race. However, Zippia did some further digging and put the actual income gap at 19.43% – not exactly the highest or the lowest.
Recent news tells a completely different story. Kentucky is the very state where Breonna Taylor was shot and killed in her own home by police officers that were not in uniform. Protests calling for justice raged throughout the state, bringing to light many other instances of racism throughout Kentucky.
Arkansas is ranked pretty high for a couple of things. According to U.S. News, the state ranks 13 for employment gap by race and 11 for income gap by race, meaning the stats show it's working toward equality. Zippia found that the income gap is 23.09%. A recent poll by Hendrix College showed a different reality.
The question was about racism in Arkansas, and 47% of the residents stated that it was a big problem while a mere 7% claimed it wasn't a problem. There are still many towns in the state that are clearly discriminatory, causing some visitors to shy away. A report by AP found that Arkansas is only one of four states without specific hate crimes law (save for one in Little Rock), and that the state is home to many supremacist groups.
14. North Dakota
North Dakota has a lot of work to do, as well. The state may be ranked 14 for WalletHub's overall study, but the economic equality study put it all the way down at 44. Zippia makes it clear why – the income gap is a staggering 36.31%! The only saving grace is that North Dakota ranks well for education gap by race.
As far as actually living there, it seems to be a mixed bag. A radio station asked the question "Is North Dakota Racist?" and viewers commented by saying, "The whole state is racist. We have a lot of KKK and white supremacists here." Another said, "I've been disrespected and told offensive racial slurs just because I'm a proud Hispanic man." However, BBC reported in 2017 that a church that tried to set up a "whites-only enclave" but was burnt down due to arson.
Georgia's stats look decent – not great, but decent. Zippia found that there's a 19.90% difference in white paychecks versus people of color. U.S. News put Georgia in the 20s for each education, income, and employment. Looking at local news, it feels like Georgia's stats are off.
Earlier this year, Ahmaud Arbery was simply jogging when he was chased down and shot by three men in a racially charged attack. This is just one of many stories that have come out of Georgia. A week ago, a Georgia Southern volleyball player used racist language and was forced to apologize. Another is a Jimmy John's worker who was fired for making a dough noose and posting it to snapchat.
Hawaii has a unique history, and it's one of the few states in America where white people are actually a minority. According to the U.S. Census, 37.6% of people are Asian, while 25.5% are white. AP also reported that Hawaii is one of the top states for racial integration.
In Hawaii, the native peoples were taken advantage of during the plantation era. Now, Hawaii is focusing on formal governmental work to cut down on environmental racism, although it's a new endeavor. Southern Poverty Law Center reported that Hawaii is also suffering from racial prejudice toward white people.
Delaware is where we hit the mid-point. WalletHub, at this point, gives each state a 50 or lower (out of 100) for racial equality. The state doesn't have spectacular stats, either. There's a 21.05% difference between people of color and white people's income. U.S. News stated a little higher ranking, putting them around 19, 14, and 13 for education, employment, and income by race, respectively.
A recent Instagram account brought to light racism experienced in the school system. One student wrote how his classmates sent him pictures of Koreans being run over by Jeeps and called him a "zipper head." Another detailed how a white student threw a pencil at the ceiling where it stuck. The teacher automatically assumed it was the Black students when she came in. The Instagram account has over 900 posts.
Even though it's a southern state, Alabama doesn't have awful stats. Zippia found that it had a 27.15% income gap, which could definitely be improved. U.S. News listed it at 29, 26, and 19 for education, employment, and income gap by race. In reality, it's a bit different.
Late 2019, a student discovered a racist chat group among teachers called the "Bad A** B****es." Teachers were bullying students of color, calling them racial slurs, and treating them poorly due to their race. That same year, an Alabama newspaper editor called for the KKK to lynch Democrats. Recently, a nurse posted on Facebook saying that it was "time to bring the KKK back." Even Alabama Senator Tim Melson was called out for making racist remarks during a commission meeting in June.
Oregon ranked poorly on WalletHub's listing, but U.S. News found that it was a lot better for a couple of reasons. The state ranked second for employment gap by race and seventh for income gap by race. The American Community Survey reported that the income gap was 23.73%, which isn't bad, but it's certainly not one of the lowest on their lineup.
Oregon has an extremely racist past. The Oregonian did a piece on how the state's founders sought a "white utopia," a stain that still haunts Oregon. There are definitely ups and downs. In 2002, 70% of Oregonians voted to remove offensive language from the Oregon Constitution, but neo-Nazis tried to gather in Portland for a three-day skinhead festival five years later. An audit in 2011 found that Black and Latino renters were "unfairly disadvantaged" regarding the housing market.
Mississippi is near the middle for WalletHub, but it's near the bottom for several other publications. Zippia placed it at 41 because of a 31.06% income gap. U.S. News put the state's ranking at 30, 32, and 37 for education, employment, and income gap by race. These are certainly not great numbers.
Mississippi is one of the few states where the state flag still presents a Confederate symbol in it. The state also made headlines in 2013 when it finally abolished slavery 148 years after the Constitution. An article from The Atlantic also states this about Mississippi, "Racist sentiment is built into the fact that the state government squeezes the funds for public schools, which might technically be desegregated but remain very segregated because the whites who have the money send their children to private schools."
Nevada is rather low on WalletHub's list but high on many others. For U.S. News, the state is eighth for employment gap by race. Zippia found that the income gap is just 16.03%, but U.S. News put it all the way down at 31 and 35 for education and income gap by race.
A news report from Sierra Sun detailed a stark reality. In 2011, a family was harassed as teenagers yelled racial slurs and tried to fight with the family. The local news report also stated a group of people left Nevada City after experiencing "repeated racist remarks." Elsewhere in Nevada, policy changes are happening, like at the University of Nevada, where a letter from the President outlined action against racism on campus.
Maine has consistently ranked low on the list of most segregated states. Zippia put it at nine for states that have a long way to go to reach equality. AP News also put it on the list of states with the least racial integration. The income gap between white and Black Americans in the state is a shocking 46.78%. The reason for this could be because the state is nearly 95% white.
When News Center Maine asked a woman about her experience as a bi-racial mother, she responded that race "is a daily topic, often a daily confrontation of some sort or another." One Redditor asked if Maine is racist, and a Mainer responded that Maine has a "cold shoulder" racism, where people act differently toward people of color. Another said that they hate people simply because they're not from Maine.
Indiana is in the middle, so it isn't the best or the worst. U.S. News puts it at 32, but the state ranks seventh in education gap by race, which is pretty remarkable. Zippia, on the other hand, found that the income gap was 26.09%. Recent news stories show that there's still racial conflict in the state.
In the '20s, Indiana was controlled by the KKK, and the roots are still there. A racist attack against a Black man in southern Indiana was filmed and quickly went viral. The video shows the men asking for a noose. However, Black Americans who live there notice a "movement against hatred and dismissiveness toward those that are different." That being said, several things that have happened still labels Indianapolis as a racist city.
Washington has tried to make positive movements toward change for people of color, and it shows. U.S. News ranks them 17th for equality, with their best categories being income and education (ranked fifth and sixth respectively). Economically, the state is very racially integrated, but Zippia still lists a 23.89% income gap for paychecks between white people and people of color.
Like many other states, Washington has a history of segregation and racial tension. Hate crimes are common in Lynnwood, according to Peninsula Daily News. Apparently, both Lynnwood and Ferndale are home to hate groups. Those who live there have also state racist encounters happen regularly.
Florida manages to rank well according to the stats. U.S. News put it at the top 10, doing best in employment gap by race (ranked 12th). Zippia also seemed to find that the income gap isn't as large as nearby states, with just a 19.01% gap between whites and people of color. However, a quick look at the flag tells you otherwise.
The Florida flag, adopted in 1906, was created by a white supremacy group. Those who live in the state are extremely vocal. President Trump retweeting a racist video of a Floridan who yelled "white power!" It's also important to remember Trayvon Martin, who was unarmed when George Zimmerman killed him. Zimmerman notoriously was acquitted after being charged with murder.
26. North Carolina
North Carolina is in the middle when it comes to stats. The pay gap between white people and people of color is 25.10%, according to Zippia. U.S. News ranked them at 28, 27, and 28 for education, employment, and income gap by race. As you can see, the state isn't the best or the worst if you're just looking at the figures.
The news says something else. The state has had a lot of conflicts lately over the use of the Confederate flag, including a license plate that displays the troubling symbol. Recently, an audio recording from the police shows disturbing racism as a cop states, "We are just gonna go out and start slaughtering them," a statement that's followed by a racial slur. This was coming from a state that has 32 hate groups, according to Southern Poverty Law Center.
27. Rhode Island
Rhode Island has always had a problem with racism. The state has ranked poorly compared to those around them as recently as five years ago. It's tried to put in some work, but it's still ranked nearly last in some respects, like income gap. U.S. News puts them at 49 for income gap and 30 for employment gap by race.
For the last three decades alone, Rhode Island residents have been trying to get the state to drop the phrase "and Providence Plantations" from official documents. In Newport, citizens state that the racism is subtle, but definitely there. They also state that there are discrepancies between how white students and students of color are treated. Studies from the ACLU discovered that people of color stopped more by the police, and Black individuals were arrested 9.14 times more than non-Blacks.
While Missouri ranked fairly low on the WalletHub survey, it's fairly high on other studies. U.S. News put them at 12 and four for education and income gap by race, respectively. However, the income gap is all the way down at 35. Zippia listed the income gap as 20.53%, so the income gap seems wider than originally expected. One drive down Delmar Drive in St. Louis tells it like it really is.
Delmar goes from rich, well-to-do neighborhoods to one of the poorest areas in St. Louis. The crime rates are also shockingly different, with police often taking an hour to respond to Delmar's "black side," as one Riverfront Times reporter wrote. Yet, they constantly patrol the "essentially white" side. Black residents are also more likely to be stopped in St. Louis for simply walking or driving. It's also important to remember the murder of Michael Brown, an unarmed teenager killed in Ferguson.
California's stats are very odd. It ranks very high for income gap by race for U.S. News, and Zippia backs up that evidence as it found there's only a 10.10% disparity. However, the state ranks extremely low for education and employment opportunities, ranked 39 and 48. We can see why WalletHub placed them so low.
During the late 1800s and early 1900s, California had a long history of anti-Asian crimes. The state has certainly worked on that (and now has an image of acceptance). However, there's still a lot of hate. Recently, The Mercury News reported on tons of anti-Asian incidents – 832 in the last 13 weeks. This includes 81 physical assaults and 64 civil rights violations, such as workplace discrimination and barring Asian-Americans from entering stores.
Alaska has a large minority population. It's 65.3% white, 15.6% Alaska Native, 7.3% Latino, 6.5% Asian, and 3.7% African American. Despite this, the state has a lot of issues with racism and disparities between white people and people of color. Zippia found a 33.09% income gap, and U.S. News ranked the state 49 for education gap. Alaska also ranked 42 in employment gap with U.S. News.
Alaska Natives are treated quite differently. The Indian Health Services found that the Alaska Native peoples have a lower life expectancy and higher disease rates compared to white people. They suspect it's due to disproportionate poverty and discrimination in health services. More than 50 students of Anchorage Baptist Temple proved the poor treatment by declaring that they were made to "think they were 'othered' and 'less than' and the 'brunt of the joke.'"
Louisiana pretty much ranked dead last for several things. U.S. News placed them at 41, 36, and 38 for education, income, and employment gap by race. According to Zippia, Black Louisiana residents have one of the biggest income gaps at 39.51% – over a third less than what white Louisiana residents make.
Stories coming from the state show a dark present rather than a gritty past. One student at LSU received backlash for posting a racist video, and a University of Louisiana Monroe faculty member made the news after posting racist language on Facebook. The COVID-19 pandemic proved racism in the healthcare system, too. A report by ABC News found that if Black Americans died at the rate of white Americans, 14,400 people would still be alive.
Utah does one thing right: income gap by race. It ranked 14 on U.S. News, and Zippia found that there was only a 9.80% gap between paychecks for white people and people of color. However, Utah also ranked 36 for education gap.
While Salt Lake City may not show rampant racism, cities outside the capital certainly do. "Black Voices of Utah" is a panel of people who were able to voice their daily experiences. The panelists stated they feel like outsiders. For some, they're the only African American in their workplace, so they feel as though they must act as an ambassador for people of color. Others state they're exhausted of being treated like "tokens."
Maryland ranked low on WalletHub's list, but very high for U.S. News. In fact, it's fourth overall! It ranked fourth for education gap by race and second for income gap by race. Employment gap by race drops to 18. Zippia's study found that the income gap is 21.61%.
The history of Maryland says something else. During the '60s, there were riots to protest against segregation and racism. Even now, there are issues. In 2010, an African American teenager was beaten by two white men. One was charged with second-degree assault, but the other was acquitted. Just this year, Loyola University Maryland students say they experience constant racism from snide remarks to aggressive encounters.
WalletHub placed Nebraska at 34. U.S. News seemed to agree with this statement, although it placed them at 48 of 50. This study put them at 43, 47, and 39 for education, employment, and income gap by race. Zippia, on the other hand, found the income gap to be 17.71%.
The state prides itself on friendliness unless you're a minority. This year alone, there's been several incidences of racist behavior. One man put a sign in his yard that stated, "make America white again." Another event was a Custer County supervisor using racist language in a call to fight immigration. Residents are trying to fight back, and they state that it'll just take time.
Kansas is one of the worst states in our nation for equality. The state certainly has a long way to go for a number of reasons. First is the number of incarcerated people of color: 1,734 per 100,000. Considering Kansas is 86.3% white, that's a pretty high number and illustrates systematic racism. The income gap is also extremely high, at 30.30%. Kansas may be working to remove symbols of its racist past now, but the state clearly has more issues than just monuments.
The Kansas City Star published an article that found a black man living in Kansas City dies 20 years earlier than a white woman living roughly 10 minutes away. This is due to many reasons, from slow police responses to a poor healthcare system. It's also hard to forget the hate crimes that occur there. In 2017, Adam Purinton shot two Indian men while yelling, "Get out of my country!"
According to stats, Michigan ranked pretty high for U.S. News, but WalletHub puts them near the bottom. For U.S. News, the state ranked nine and six for education and income gap by race. However, Michigan bottomed out for employment gap by race, placing 45. Zippia found the income gap to be 25.59%, meaning people of color bring home a quarter less than their white peers.
It isn't difficult to see where Michigan ranks with equality – just look at Flint. Flint is a predominantly black neighborhood, and when their water supply became contaminated due to government interference, very little was done. The residents suffered lead poisoning, children being the most affected. Michigan also had a protest this year where armed protestors gathered inside the state capitol, proudly displaying the Confederate flag, nooses, and Swastikas.
WalletHub put Virginia near the bottom, but other sources rank the state slightly higher. Zippia found that the income gap was 27.01%, which is certainly awful, but not the bottom 15 awful. U.S. News put Virginia at 14, 20, and three for education, employment, and income gap by race. That's certainly a lot better than WalletHub.
Headlines told the story of a Virginia that has dozens of racist laws on the books that enforce segregation and racial inequality. Lawmakers are trying to remove them, but that's just a start. A poll by the Virginian-Pilot discovered that 65% of Virginians agreed that the police treat people of color differently than white Virginians. Another 57% thought that the courts treated people of color differently, and 55% stated people of color are treated differently at work.
Colorado may be the shining beacon of equality for some, but stats say something else. People of color are incarcerated much more often. Zippia found that 1,891 per 100,000 people of color are jailed compared to white residents. The pay gap is also higher than in other states at 21.23%. U.S. News put Colorado at 48 and 40 for education and income gap. However, it did rank six for employment gap.
Many residents are still rocked by the death of De'Von Bailey and Elijah McClain. People of color are "constantly bombarded" by racism, according to a quote from a student at the University of Northern Colorado. A protest was held in Colorado Springs, which highlighted the economic gap between District 20 and District 2. The latter was home to mostly people of color and got half as much money in property taxes.
Ohio earned pretty bad marks across the board. The state has an income gap of 28% and an education gap of 12.2%, according to Zippia. U.S. News ranked it at 39 for employment gap, but 11 and 15 for education and income gap, respectively. WalletHub also put Ohio as one of the states with the highest gap in SAT scores and public high school graduation rates.
An Ohio lawmaker worries her son will face the same racist rhetoric she's faced due to people telling her and her child to "go back to China." Ohio was one of the first states to declare racism as a public health crisis. A resolution from the Board of Commissioners found that Franklin county is 24% Black, and those residents are hospitalized due to COVID-19 at twice the rate as other demographic groups. One lawmaker asked if "the colored population" washed their hands as often. This lawmaker was fired from his job as a physician afterward.
WalletHub ranked Iowa as having one of the highest gaps in adults with at least a high school diploma. It also listed the state as having one of the highest standardized-test score gaps and highest mean SAT score gaps. Zippia found that 2,349 people of color are incarcerated per 100,000, while the income gap of minorities sits at 35.05%. The stats speak volumes.
One Redditor recently asked if Iowa was racist, and the overwhelming response was that if a person of color "acted white," they were "one of the good ones." This is a telling story. People of color were also encouraged to stay out of small towns, as they are "Klan-esque," according to the Des Moines Register. ABC News reported on a June attack on a 22-year-old DarQuan Jones who believed he was going to be killed by two white men. The two men claimed Jones had broken into nearby homes.
41. New Jersey
WalletHub's findings discovered that New Jersey had one of the highest average ACT score gaps in the nation, causing it to be ranked as one of the worst. However, other sources place the state higher. U.S. News listed it at 13, 9, and 21 for education, employment, and income gap by race. Zippia discovered that the income gap is 27%, which explains why U.S. News also ranked them much lower.
A recent study analyzed the frequency of Google searches for the N-word across the United States, and New Jersey popped up as one of the worst. In fact, New Jersey was called "much more racist than average." Two years ago, A New Jersey sheriff was recorded making racist remarks, which led to his resignation and four of his undersheriffs. It's no wonder during an interview with Filter Mag, Black women stated that they were treated differently and racially profiled regularly.
42. South Carolina
U.S. News and WalletHub seem to agree that South Carolina is a pretty bad place for people of color. The state ranked 47 for the educational gap. WalletHub's survey listed it as having a high gap in adults with a minimum of a bachelor's degree. It did marginally better in the other categories, ranking 28 and 31 for employment and income gap. Zippia lists the income gap as 28.62%.
It's hard to believe that the Confederate flag was still being flown in South Carolina until recently. Those who live there know that this isn't odd. Studies have found that 65% of the cash seized by South Carolina police comes from Black men. Greenville News reported that the police and criminal justice system unjustly target people of color and takes "away their livelihoods and liberty at a harsher rate than whites." South Carolina is also the very state where eight Black church members and their pastor were shot and killed in a racially charged attack.
U.S. News and WalletHub list Illinois as one of the states with the least racial integration and most inequality. U.S. News’s study ranked it at 26, 37, and 33 for education, employment, and income gap by race. Zippia's deep-dive discovered that the pay gap is as high as 28.34%.
A study by Heartland Alliance looked into racism in the state and found some disturbing facts. Even though Black residents make up 13.8% of the population, they represent 28.9% of the people arrested or convicted of crimes. Illinois also had the third-highest percentage of Black adults who were formerly incarcerated in the nation. Finally, people of color are doubly stigmatized after finishing their criminal legal system involvement due to their ethnicity.
44. South Dakota
The Midwest is apparently pretty bad, as South Dakota is yet another state that ranked very poorly. Zippia found that the state's income gap is a high 32% and that Black South Dakotans are 18% less likely to receive a bachelor's degree. South Dakota ranked last on U.S. News's rankings overall. Individually, it was ranked 46, 50, and 50 for education, employment, and income.
Harriet Yocum outlines the daily life of a Black woman in South Dakota. She said she learned to expect people staring at her and calling her racist slurs. Another young girl, Samantha Jo, faced prejudice for her skin color, including being called slurs at school. Even though South Dakota has a large Native American population, racism is still a major issue. One Oglala Lakota born South Dakotan explained how racism is rampant and that "South Dakota is the Mississippi of the North."
Massachusetts ranked very low on WalletHub, but other studies apparently don't agree. U.S. News put the state at 23, 22, and 29 for education, employment, and income gaps by race. Zippia listed the income gap at 28.26%. Obviously, the state needs some work.
A Google study looked at how often racial slurs were searched, and it showed that Massachusetts uses these words more often than the average state. Suffolk University asked Massachusetts residents if they thought racism was an issue, and 30% said it was one of the most serious issues facing the state. The same poll also revealed that 77% of people thought Black people aren't treated the same as everyone else.
46. New York
New York didn't score much higher than states around it. Zippia placed the income gap at 20.98%, but U.S. News ranked it even lower. The state ranked 33, 25, and 34 for education, employment, and income gap by race. Racism in New York is common. A recent video surfaced and showed what it's like for the average person of color.
Sungmin Kwon went to a 7/11, but was attacked by a man, telling him that Asians "don't belong in this country." Another video the same month shows a woman going on a racist tirade to a Black Yale graduate. The City Commission on Human Rights published a 74-page report that reveals Black New Yorkers are suffering from racism in education, housing, health care, work, and interactions with the criminal justice system.
Pennsylvania ranked low for a number of reasons. The number of incarcerated people of color is 1,180 per 100,000 residents. The pay gap is also high at 26.77%, according to Zippia. U.S. News put them much higher than both WalletHub and Zippia. Their study discovered the state ranked 16 and 18 for education and income gap by race, but the state did rank 41 for employment gap by race.
Pennsylvania is joining a number of states listing racism as a public health crisis. One TripAdvisor post by an interracial couple went on to explain how they received "nasty looks, comments, and blatant stares." They eventually felt unsafe and left. A police officer followed them out of town to make sure they left. Pennsylvania was also included in the Google search study for racial slurs across the U.S. It may not be a surprise that the state ranked much higher than the average state. A year ago, billboards made the news because of extremely racist comments and images.
Connecticut ranked in the top three for most racist states, according to WalletHub's study. Out of every state, it had the highest gap in adults with at least a bachelor's degree and is ranked top five for the highest mean SAT score gap. Zippia's study agreed, finding an income gap of 33% and an education gap of 19.7%. As for U.S. News, the state ranked 40, 31, and 33 for education, employment, and income gap by race.
Hate is well known in the state, especially in the school system. One student recalled her experience in Windsor when she was approached by a classmate, who told her that the only other Black person she knew was her maid. This spurred the Instagram account @blackattrin, where students share their stories. Posts include one student saying she was "watched like a hawk" in the campus bookstore because she was a person of color. Another said they felt uncomfortable in the dining hall and was asked if she was a student every time she went there. The account has over 300 posts detailing racist encounters.
According to WalletHub, Minnesota is the second-worst state. Black Minnesotans have a 36% income gap, making it one of the worst in the nation. The education gap is also 15.5%, according to Zippia. U.S. News put the state at 44, 40, and 43 for education, employment, and income gaps for white residents and people of color.
Everyone knows about George Floyd's senseless death, which occurred in Minneapolis. Many said the police have been out of control for a long time, especially toward people of color. The Minneapolis PD was sued in 2007 by its own chief, who is an African American, for discrimination. In the Twin Cities area, Black Minnesotans face a poverty rate that's four times higher than whites and unemployment rates three times higher. Many have begun to call this the "Minnesota paradox."
Wisconsin is the state with the highest presence of racial inequality, according to both Zippia and WalletHub. Zippia found that the imprisonment rate for Black Americans was 10 times higher than white Americans. The income gap was also extremely high, at 37%. U.S. News ranked the state at 24, 44, and 36 for education, employment, and income gaps.
In July 2020, a Madison woman was attacked by four white men who sprayed lighter fuel on her and lit her on fire. The previous month, State Representative Ron Tusler faced backlash after posting a racist meme on Facebook. Another story coming from Wisconsin was a 64-year-old woman who spat in a young African American protestor's face. Stories like this are common in the state, and one of the main reasons it is ranked first.