Respect Equality

The five state economies with the most racial equality: report

Washington, D.C. finished last.
upper class business man sitting on top of injustice, unfairness symbol with person of color at the bottom
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Story at a glance


  • WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across eight key metrics, including annual income, unemployment rate and homeownership rate, to determine which state economies have the most racial equality.

  • Alaska’s state economy is the most racially equal in the nation. 

  • New Mexico, Arizona, Texas and Hawaii followed Alaska to round out the top five.

Alaska’s state economy is the most racially equal in the nation, according to a new report from Wallet Hub.  

“Alaska’s economy has the most racial equality for several reasons, including the fact that there is almost no difference in the unemployment rate for Black people and white people, which suggests that there is less racial bias in hiring,” WalletHub analyst Jill Gonzalez said in a news release. 

“Alaska also does not have a significantly higher poverty rate for Black people than it does for white people,” Gonzalez added. 

WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across eight key metrics, including annual income, unemployment rate and homeownership rate, to determine which state economies have the most racial equality.  

New Mexico, Arizona, Texas and Hawaii followed Alaska to round out the top five, while Washington, D.C., came in last on Wallet Hub’s list. Gonzalez noted D.C. finished last because it holds the highest gap between the percentage of white and Black company executives in the country and the highest unemployment-rate gap.  

The District of Columbia also finished in the bottom five regarding the labor-force participation gap and the gap in the homelessness rate.  

Yet experts interviewed by Wallet Hub, including Spencer Piston, an associate professor of Political Science at Boston University, said there are steps policymakers can take to close the wealth gap.  

“Among others, the return of land to Indigenous Peoples; immediate and direct wealth transfers as reparations for racial injustices to Black, Brown, and Red people alike; the banning of many kinds of predatory profiteering, including but not limited to the criminal justice system,” Piston said.  


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The wealth gap between white and Black Americans has only grown since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic due partly to the consolidation of wealth at the top, according to a report from the National Bureau of Economic Research. 

“The top 0.01% of households now own 36.1% of private wealth,” researchers wrote. “Given that there are so few Black households at the top of the wealth distribution, faster growth in wealth at the top will lead to further increases in racial wealth inequality.”   

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