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MA Ranks 33rd in US for Racial Progress

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

 

Martin Luther King Jr. Day is approaching and it begs the question, how far has Massachusetts come with racial progress? 

Massachusetts is ranked 33rd in the country when it comes to states who have made the most racial progress, according to a recent study done by WalletHub. 

“In 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., shared with the world his dream of a colorblind society — one that focuses on his children’s character, not on their complexion. America has certainly come closer to realizing Dr. King’s vision though segregation and discrimination persist,” said WalletHub. 

Massachusetts ranks 27th for employment and wealth, 44th in education and civic engagement and 7th for health. 

The Rankings 

Massachusetts ranks 33rd behind New York and Indiana who rank 31st and 32nd respectively. MA ranks ahead of Missouri and Colorado at 34th and 35th respectively. 

Georgia is ranked as the state that has made the most racial progress while Maine is ranked last in the United States.

See the full rankings in the map below. 

Source: WalletHub

The Method

In order to determine the most racially progressive states, WalletHub’s analysts compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across three key dimensions: 1) Employment & Wealth, 2) Education & Civic Engagement and 3) Health.

They evaluated those dimensions using 16 relevant metrics. Each metric was graded on a 100-point scale, with 100 representing the highest level of racial progress.

This analysis compares only blacks and whites in light of racial tensions in recent years that sparked the Black Lives Matter movement and the observance of the holiday honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who played a prominent role in the Civil Rights Movement to end segregation and discrimination against blacks.

They then calculated the overall score for each state and the District based on their weighted average across all metrics and used the resulting scores to rank them.

 

Employment & Wealth – Total Points: 50

  • Median Annual Income: Full Weight (6.25 Points)
  • Labor-Force Participation Rate: Full Weight (6.25 Points)
  • Unemployment Rate: Full Weight (6.25 Points)
  • Homeownership Rate: Full Weight (6.25 Points)
  • Poverty Rate: Full Weight (6.25 Points)
  • Business Ownership Rate: Full Weight (6.25 Points)
  • Share of Government Workers: Full Weight (6.25 Points)
  • Share of Executives: Full Weight (6.25 Points)

 

Education & Civic Engagement – Total Points: 30

  • Share of Residents with at Least a High School Degree: Full Weight (7.50 Points)
  • Share of Residents with at Least a Bachelor’s Degree: Full Weight (7.50 Points)
  • Standardized Test Scores: Full Weight (7.50 Points)
  • Voter-Turnout Rate (2012 Presidential Election): Full Weight (7.50 Points)

 

Health – Total Points: 20

  • Share of Preterm Births: Full Weight (5.00 Points)
  • Share of Live Births with Low Birthweight (<2,500 Grams): Full Weight (5.00 Points)
  • Infant Mortality Rate: Full Weight (5.00 Points)
  • Suicide Rate: Full Weight (5.00 Points)
 

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