Each year the National Urban League releases a snapshot on the State of Black America (SOBA). The report benchmarks racial equality in America across economics, employment, education, health, housing, criminal justice and civic participation. The events of past the year, including highly-publicized killings of unarmed black men by police and setbacks in voting rights, influenced the focus of the 2015 report: “Save Our Cities: Education, Jobs + Justice.”
One of the most anticipated portions of the SOBA is the Equality Index of Black America, now in its 11th edition. The good news? This year Black America’s overall Equality Index has risen slightly overall.
In 2015, the index of Black America is 72.2 percent. Or looking at it another way, instead of starting with a whole pie at 100 percent— in this case, which would mean full equity in these areas with whites—African Americans are missing about 28 percent of the pie. That is up from 71.5 percent in 2014.
In a more granular look:
–In the areas of social justice and health and economics, Black America experienced a bump.
The NUL explains:
“The increase in the social justice index was the result of fewer Blacks being victims of violent crimes and fewer Black high school students carrying weapons…. The increase in the health index resulted from increased health care coverage for Blacks since the Affordable Care Act went into effect and a decline in binge drinking among Blacks. The small increase in the economics index was the result of improvements in the income, poverty and home loan denial gaps. The unemployment and homeownership gaps widened.
–In the areas of education and civic engagement, the indexes both declined slightly.
Meanwhile, the 2015 Equality Index of Hispanic America also rose this year. It now stands at 77.7 percent compared to a revised 2014 index of 75.8 percent.
For a more comprehensive look at Equality in America, go to the www.stateofblackamerica.org.