NC ranks 24th among most racially equitable state economies

June 15. North Carolina scores right in the middle of a survey of State Economies with the Most Racial Equality, according to a new study from WalletHub.

A recent study found that only 7 percent of managerial positions and 4-5 percent of senior managerial positions belong to black Americans, even though that demographic makes up 14 percent of US employees.

The overall black unemployment rate is consistently higher than the white unemployment rate, too.

—The median white person in their early thirties has $29,000 more wealth than the median black person of the same age

—The gap increases to $251,000 for Americans in their late fifties.

As racial tensions run high, it’s an opportune time to look at financial equality and how to achieve it.

Terrell Strayhorn

Terrell Strayhorn, Ph.D., director of the Center for the Study of HBCUs at Virginia Union University, said policymakers, and elected officials should “formulate, implement, support or expand” programs that:

1. Increase access to affordable housing in communities of color through federal subsidies for public housing options, housing vouchers, and development of public-private partnerships

2. Education programs that benefit economically-disadvantaged and/or communities of color such as increasing funding to historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs)

3. Encourage entrepreneurship through funding for small business development (especially minority- and women-owned companies), tax incentives, and priority grants. Other promising practices for reducing racialized economic disparities include investing in Medicare (and Medicaid), SNAP food benefits, ‘ban the box’ policies, and even taxing the wealthy to (re)distribute taxed revenue in support of public service programs.”

WalletHub methodology 

In order to determine the states with the most racial equality in terms of employment and wealth, WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across these metrics:

  • Median Annual Household Income: Double Weight (~21.05 Points)
  • Labor-Force Participation Rate: Full Weight (~10.53 Points)
  • Unemployment Rate: Double Weight (~21.05 Points)
  • Homeownership Rate: Full Weight (~10.53 Points)
  • Note: We are using homeownership as a proxy for wealth.
  • Poverty Rate: Full Weight (~10.53 Points)
  • Homeless Rate: Full Weight (~10.53 Points)
  • Share of Unsheltered Homeless: Half Weight (~5.26 Points)
  • Share of Executives: Full Weight (~10.53 Points)


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