Has Georgia achieved more racial progress than any other state in the nation?

011816 ATLANTA: The Hawks hold a tribute to Martin Luther King Jr., projecting his image on the hardwood before tipoff against the Orlanda Magic in the MLK Day basketball game on Monday, Jan. 18, 2016, in Atlanta. Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com

Georgia has achieved the most racial progress over time compared to other states in the country, according to a new survey from WalletHub .

In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day ( Jan. 16), the personal finance website measured racial progress by looking at the difference between whites and blacks across metrics including employment and wealth, education and civic engagement and health.

For each metric, they used the oldest and most recent data available then calculated the percentage of progress for that time period.

Georgia ranked first for employment and wealth, tenth for education and civic engagement and had a rather low ranking of 37 for health. It makes you wonder if all that racial progress is coming at the expense of one’s health?

Georgia ranked in the top five for states with the highest change in median annual income gap and highest change in the business ownership rate gap, all of which explains why Georgia has seen the most racial progress in the area of wealth.

But income is only part of the wealth story, says Kevin Cokely, director of the Institute for Urban Policy Research & Analysis, at the University of Texas at Austin.

When income is controlled for, there is still a large racial wealth gap, he said.

“Compared to White households, Black households typically do not have large wealth reserves or liquid assets, and thus have to rely on income and housing equity to a much greater degree than White households. The income gap between a young two-earner Black couple and a young two-earner White couple may be small, as documented in the book “The New Black Middle Class,” but there still remain a large gap in terms of net worth,” said Cokely in the study.

From student loans to homeownership to investments and income, the legacy of racial inequality can continue to impact the wealth of blacks and whites in different ways, even when it appears progress is being made.

For more details from the survey and to see how states currently rank on integration , visit www.wallethub.com.

Reader Comments 0

14 comments
jarvis1975
jarvis1975

If the income gap is small but the net worth gap is large, wouldn't that indicate that the African American young couples are acquiring more debt and fewer lasting assets than their white counterparts?

A "financial decision gap" can't be overcome by society. Those are personal choices.

butchcat
butchcat

Major Downing..You couldn't be more correct.  Can't believe that the AJC doesn't monitor the comments section.  Sent them an email about it and never received a reply.


Manman
Manman

lol not hard to score highly in "most changed" when you start so low


also "It makes you wonder if all that racial progress is coming at the expense of one’s health?" Seriously Nedra? It makes me wonder why more isn't being done to close that gap as well as the others have apparently been. Also I agree with others here there are huge sections of our state where it's still the "good ole days." I'm a native too, it just is what it is

jezel
jezel

You have to be kidding. Who are you trying to fool ?

Darrow
Darrow

I have to agree with all the other commenters.  There is such a lot of Georgia racism, there no way to classify it as progress.

Under-Educated White Guy
Under-Educated White Guy

The title of the article is VERY misleading.  Perhaps the term "racial economic progress" should have been used?


Georgia still ranks as the 6th most racist nation in the US.  I don't know about anyone else, but up here in N GA I am up to my eyeballs in under-educated racists, bigots, and xenophobes.  


Native Georgians haven't changed their spots in 280 years, and I don't suspect they will any time soon.

Ronnie Ensley Ensley
Ronnie Ensley Ensley

Is North Georgia a part of Georgia? If so we're pretty much the same as 1955.

MajorDowning
MajorDowning

Georgia couldn't have moved that far. Reading the comments in the AJC each week shows we have a long way to go.

Eddie Daves
Eddie Daves

You might want to read that headline back to yourself and then correct it......

Eddie Daves
Eddie Daves

Seems like that's the norm for the AJC.

Mike Sinquefield
Mike Sinquefield

You mean a major news agency reporting with proper grammar? :)