This past April, the Annie E. Casey Foundation published a policy report that looks at the intersection of race, opportunity, and children. The report looks at how children in different racial groups are progressing on key milestones, and part of the report highlights African American children. By looking at 12 metrics, from “babies born at normal birth weight” to “young adults ages 19 to 26 who are in school or working,” researchers were able to assess the educational, financial and career prospects for Black kids living in particular states.
Data from the study is available for 46 states and what the results reveal are very unsettling for anyone raising black children.
The report actually refers to the results for African American children as a “national crisis.”
In almost all the states in the study Black kids faced some of the biggest barriers to success when compared to other races.
The states with the highest scores in the index are states with a very low African American population (Hawaii, New Hampshire, Utah, and Alaska). The states with the lowest scores on the index are located in the south and the Midwest (e.g. Louisiana, Wisconsin, Mississippi, Ohio, and Alabama). Because of the history of African American in the south, it is no surprise that many southern states scored low on the index.
Although some of the highest scoring states have a very low Black population, it doesn’t mean Black kids are necessarily better off in states with less Black people. For example, Wisconsin scores very low on the index and only has a 6.6% population of Black people.
Because of the deep and complex history African Americans face throughout the U.S., it can be challenging to truly tell where your children will be well off even with data from a study like this. Having a high score on the index cannot necessarily suggest that a Black kid would be more successful in any particular state without accounting for other factors. And the reality is that, when compared to their white counterparts, the opportunities afforded to brown babies across all 50 states are horrible.
Click here to take a look at the report and tell us what you think.
Where should we raise our kids?
Martine Foreman is a freelance writer, lifestyle blogger, and life coach. To follow her journey as a busy mom, wife and honest chick from Brooklyn, NY (now living in the burbs), check out her personal blog, CandidBelle.