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Wisconsin ranks as worst state for Black Americans, study finds

todayMay 8, 2024 1

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Wisconsin Ranks as Worst State for Black Americans, Study Finds
Photo by Neil Bates on Unsplash

A new study by 24/7 Wall St. has once again ranked Wisconsin as the worst state for Black Americans to live in, highlighting persistent racial disparities in socioeconomic outcomes. The study, which analyzed data from the U.S. Census Bureau and other sources, sheds light on the challenges faced by the state’s Black population.

According to the study, the median household income for Black individuals in Wisconsin is $38,732, only 51.1% of the $75,803 median household income for white individuals, representing the widest income gap among all states. The homeownership rate for Black residents stands at 26.5%, compared to 71.9% for white residents. Additionally, the unemployment rate for Black residents, who make up 6.1% of the state’s population, is 8.3%, while the unemployment rate for white residents is 3.0%.

To determine the rankings, 24/7 Wall St. created an index consisting of eight measures: median household income, poverty rate, adult high school and bachelor’s degree attainment rates, homeownership rate, unemployment rate, incarceration rate by race, and age-adjusted mortality rate by race. The index assessed race-based gaps in these measures rather than ranking the conditions of Black Americans alone.

The study’s findings highlight the historical context of racial inequality in Wisconsin, with segregation in the latter part of the 19th century and into the 20th century shaping much of the disparities evident today. Practices such as racial zoning and redlining have contributed to the state’s high levels of segregation and unequal access to services for Black residents.

In contrast, the study identified several states as being among the best for Black Americans. Georgia, ranked 43rd, has a median household income for Black individuals of $55,010, which is 67.6% of the $81,445 median household income for white individuals, and a Black homeownership rate of 49.0%. Kentucky, ranked 44th, has a Black median household income of $44,196, which is 71.0% of the $62,242 white median household income, and a Black homeownership rate of 37.9%. Texas, ranked 48th, has a Black median household income of $55,459, which is 69.2% of the $80,134 white median household income, and a Black homeownership rate of 41.3%.

While these states still have racial disparities, they provide a contrast to the more severe gaps found in Wisconsin. The study’s authors note that addressing these disparities will require a concerted effort from policymakers, community leaders, and residents to create a more equitable society.


Written by: Tarik Moody

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