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2022 Racial Progress and Integration: NC Ranked Nine and Eighteen out of Fifty-One

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By Cara Beth Lewis 

Monday is Martin Luther King Jr. Day – a day where the efforts and achievements of Civil Rights Activist and Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. are remembered and recognized. Today, January 11, WalletHub, a personal finance website, released a report on the states with the most racial progress in honor of the upcoming MLK Day.  

From WalletHub: 

Racial Progress in North Carolina

(1 = Most Progress; 25 = Average) 

Note: All of the following comparisons refer to the gaps between black and white people over time. 

  • 19th – Change in Median Household Gap 
  • 9th – Change in Labor-Force Participation Rate Gap 
  • 24th – Change in Unemployment Rate Gap 
  • 14th – Change in Homeownership Rate Gap
  • 7th – Change in Poverty Rate Gap 
  • 22nd – Change in Gap in Percent of Adults (Ages 25 and older) with at least a High School Diploma 
  • 15th – Change in Standardized Test Score Gap 
  • 2nd – Change in Voter Turnout Gap (2020 Presidential Election) 

In 1963, Martin Luther King, Jr. shared his dream with his fellow Americans. Many civil rights activists have followed in his footsteps in the years since, and much work has been done in the name of equality. Years later, progress is still being documented, and changes continue to happen. With that being said, many Americans believe that there is still work to be done.

Wallethub.com shares that a recent study by the Pew Research Center shows that 50% of adults say “a lot” more needs to be done to ensure equal rights for all Americans. 15% of those surveyed believe that “nothing” needs to be done. 

North Carolina ranks number 18 out of 51 on a list of “States with the most Racial Integration.” NC is ranked number 9 out of 51 on a list of “States with the most Racial Progress.” 

According to WalletHub, racial integration is determined by subtracting the values attributed to white and black people for a given metric, using the most recent available data. Racial progress is determined by subtracting the values attributed to white and black people for a given metric using the oldest and most recent data. From those results, a percentage of progress is calculated. Racial integration and racial progress are two key measures that WalletHub used to rank states. 

“We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.” Martin Luther King, Jr.