Senior Director of State Policy Initiatives
The benefits from the nation’s continuing economic recovery haven’t been shared equally across racial and ethnic groups, and even the gains that we’ve seen are slowing, new Census Bureau data show. That heightens the need for states to advance policies that can tear down racial and ethnic barriers to economic opportunity.
Building strong, thriving state economies and communities requires creating conditions under which every individual can realize his or her full potential, no matter their race or ethnicity or where they live. But new state data from the American Community Survey show that:
Many barriers perpetuate inequality and keep communities of color from sharing more fully in the nation’s prosperity. They include discrimination in hiring and promotions, overrepresentation in low-wage work, and the greater likelihood that people of color are segregated in neighborhoods that lack quality schools, jobs, or transportation. Black and Latino households also are overrepresented at the bottom of the income scale, and thus also are likelier to pay a greater share of their income in state and local taxes, which tend to fall hardest on those with low incomes.
State policymakers can help dismantle these barriers by, for example: