Skip to main content

Can the U.S. ever achieve racial equality? Many hope so, but half of black Americans say it’s unlikely that the country will achieve it, according to a 2019 survey by the Pew Research Center. According to the survey, many Americans have negative views of racial progress in the U.S., and more than half say it has gotten worse since Donald Trump was elected president. Others argue that racism is part of the fabric of public policy in the country.

If racial progress can be quantified, personal finance site WalletHub gave it a try, looking toward achievements in the workplace, schools and voting booths. To do so, they measured the gaps between black and white Americans across 21 key indicators of equality and integration in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia in four main categories: employment & wealth, education, social & civic engagement, and health. 

They evaluated those dimensions on a 100-point scale, with a score of 100 representing the highest level of progress, then ranked the states based on their scores. Some of the indicators used to see the gaps between black and white Americans include the rate of homeownership, household income, poverty, standardized test scores, voter turnout, education level, and health factors including rates of obesity, diabetes, and infant mortality.

Click on the gallery below to see the states that have made the most racial progress, according to WalletHub’s study.