Vermont Business Magazine Vermont has the third fewest number of African Americans as a percentage of its population, but has the highest level of college attainment and higher, as a percentage, than white Vermonters. In an article out Thursday, financial news and opinion website 24/7 Wall St. reports that Wisconsin is the worst state in the country for black Americans. The Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts of 1965 — ending decades of government-sponsored racial oppression and intended to reverse the effects of hundreds of years of slavery — by no means have resolved racial inequality in the United States.
Across virtually all-social and economic measures, there still are wide racial disparities in America. Compared to white people in the United States, 24/7 Wall St. reports that African Americans are considerably less likely to own their homes, twice as likely to be unemployed, nearly three times as likely to live in poverty, and five times more likely to go to prison. 24/7 Wall St.'s report also looks at segregation, incarceration and education.
24/7 Wall St. found that the median annual income of black households in Wisconsin is just $26,053, much lower than the median for black families nationwide and equal to just 46.5% the median income of whiteWisconsin households of $56,083. Similarly, while 29.9% of white adults in Wisconsin have at least a bachelor's degree, 12.8% of black adults in the state have completed college. This is also much lower than the bachelor degree attainment rate among black adults nationwide of 19.7%. The unemployment gap between black and white state residents is also troubling. With a white jobless rate of 4.1%, the state's job market is relatively strong for the white population. For black Wisconsin residents, however, the unemployment rate is 11.1% — higher than the national unemployment rate for all black Americans.
> Pct. residents black: 0.9% (3rd lowest)
> Black homeownership rate: 24.6% (9th lowest)
> Black incarceration rate: 2,214 per 100,000 (19th lowest)
> Black unemployment rate: N/A
Vermont is the only state in which a larger share of African American adults have graduated from college than white adults. Across the state, 37.0% of African American adults have at least a bachelor’s degree — the highest share of any state — and higher than the 35.1% of white residents with similar educational attainment. Additionally, the difference in incomes between white and black residents is the smallest in the country. The typical African American household in Vermont earns $50,933 annually, the third most of any state and about $4,000 less than the state’s typical white household. By comparison, the national income gap between white and black Americans is roughly $24,000.
Vermont is one of just two states that allows citizens incarcerated on a felony charge to vote while in prison. As a result, Vermont effectively has no legally disenfranchised black Americans, compared to roughly one in every 13 African Americans nationwide. By contrast, over half-a-million black individuals living in Florida are disenfranchised.
The following are the 10 Worst States for Black Americans (click on the state for its report card).
The 10 states with the narrowest racial divide are:
METHODOLOGY — To review black and white racial inequality in every state, 24/7 Wall St. created an index of 10 measures to assess racial gaps in access to resources and opportunities in each state. Creating the index in this way highlighted disparities between racial groups, rather than what may be particularly poor socioeconomic climates for both whites and blacks. For each measure, we constructed an index from the gaps between black and white Americans. The index was standardized using min-max normalization.
To construct the index, we used 2014 data from the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey (ACS) on median household income, poverty, high school and bachelor's educational attainment rates, and homeownership rates — each broken out by race. Unemployment rates for 2015 came from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Incarceration rates came from the Prison Policy Initiative, a Massachusetts-based think tank, and are as of 2010, the most recent year for which data is available. Also from 2010, the percentage of the population that is disenfranchised came from the Sentencing Project. From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, we considered age-adjusted mortality rates and infant mortality rates.
24/7 Wall St., LLC is a Delaware corporation which runs a financial news and opinion company with content delivered over the Internet. The company's articles are republished by many of the largest news sites and portals, including MSN Money, Yahoo! Finance, MarketWatch, Time.com, USAToday, and The Huffington Post. The company publishes over 30 articles per day and has readers throughout North America, Asia, the Middle East, and Africa.