IMPORTANT: It's a Serious Matter of Life

Washington’s economy ranked No. 6 in nation for racial equality

With the new federally-recognized Juneteenth holiday just around the corner, WalletHub has released a new study looking at which state economies have the most racial equality. Washington state ranked No. 6 in the nation.

To determine its rankings, the financial services website compared all 50 states and the District of Columbia across eight metrics evaluating the difference between black and white Americans. Those metrics included annual income, unemployment rate and homeownership.

WalletHub analyst Jill Gonzalez went into some detail about the Evergreen State’s top 10 ranking.

“Washington's economy has the sixth most racial equality in the U.S.,” she reiterated. “The main factors that contributed to this ranking were the fact that the state has significantly more homeless white people than black people, as well as more unsheltered homeless white people than black people.”

Unsheltered homeless refers to those who are homeless and sleep outside, in motor vehicles, or in other places not meant for human habitation. Sheltered homeless refers to those who spend the night in shelters or some other form of temporary housing.

“Other areas where Washington ranked high include unemployment, where there are only slightly more unemployed black people than white people, and the labor force participation rate, where white people have only a 1.5% advantage over black people,” she concluded.

Here’s how Washington’s economy ranked in certain metrics on racial equality: median annual income gap (No. 11), labor force participation rate gap (No. 9), unemployment rate gap (No. 7), homeownership rate gap (No. 35), poverty rate gap (No. 10), homeless rate gap (No. 1), and share of unsheltered homeless gap (No. 1).

Washington’s Pacific Northwest neighbors Oregon and Idaho ranked No. 18 and No. 14, respectively, on WalletHub’s list.

Last year, President Joe Biden signed legislation making Juneteenth, which falls on June 19, a federal holiday.

On June 19, 1865 – some two months after Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee surrendered at Appomattox, Virginia – Gordon Granger, a Union general, arrived in Galveston, Texas, to inform enslaved African Americans of their freedom and that the Civil War had ended. The Emancipation Proclamation had been issued more than two and a half years earlier, on Jan. 1, 1863, by President Abraham Lincoln.

Per the study, the top 10 state economies in terms of racial equality are:

1. Alaska

2. New Mexico

3. Arizona

4. Hawaii

5. Texas

6. Washington

7. Florida

8. South Dakota

9. Kentucky

10. Colorado

Per the study, the bottom 10 state and state designate economies in terms of racial equality are:

51. District of Columbia

50. Illinois

49. Wisconsin

48. Iowa

47. Minnesota

46. Michigan

45. Louisiana

44. North Dakota

43. Ohio

42. Pennsylvania

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