Racial equality has been one of the most prominent issues in 2020, with protests about police brutality giving way to broader discussions about race relations. While it’s easy to see racial discrepancies in areas like employment and education, it’s also important to highlight differences in civic engagement. For example, 71 percent of non-Hispanic white adults in the U.S. are registered to vote, compared to 63.6 percent of black adults. Similarly, the volunteer rate of white Americans is 26.4 percent compared to 19.3 percent for black Americans. Naturally, these statistics lead to questions about whether minorities have fewer opportunities to engage politically and socially.
In order to determine the best states for racial equality in civic engagement, WalletHub compared 48 states and the District of Columbia across five key metrics. Our data set compares the difference between white and black Americans in areas like the share of single-parent households, the volunteer rate and voter-turnout rate. Read on for the results and a full description of our methodology.
States with the Most Civic Engagement Racial Equality
|Overall Rank*||State||Total Score|
|45||District of Columbia||43.81|
*No. 1 = Most Equality
**Due to data limitations, Alaska and Hawaii were excluded from our analysis.
In order to provide further insight on how to promote equality in civic participation, WalletHub turned to a panel of experts. Click on the pictures of the experts below to read their bios and see their responses to the following key questions:
- What social measures have proven effective in addressing racial inequalities?
- What would be the most effective ways to promote civic knowledge and self-efficacy among youth belonging to racial minorities?
- What strategies and resources should state and local governments take into consideration in order to encourage civic participation from racial minorities?
- How can state and local governments better promote volunteering as a form of social and civic engagement among racial minorities?
Ask the Experts
In order to determine the states with the most racial equality in terms of civic engagement, WalletHub compared 48 states and the District of Columbia across five relevant metrics, which are listed below with their corresponding weights. Each metric was graded on a 100-point scale, with a score of 100 representing the most equality. We determined the level of equality by subtracting the values attributed to white Americans and black Americans for a given metric, using only the most recent available data.
If in some states black people scored as high as or better than white people on a given metric, all such states were awarded the maximum number of points.
Finally, we determined each state and the District’s weighted average across all metrics to calculate its total score and used the resulting scores to rank-order the states.
- Share of Single-Parent Households: Full Weight (~20.00 Points)
- Share of Adult Population on Parole: Full Weight (~20.00 Points)
- Share of Veterans: Full Weight (~20.00 Points)
- Volunteer Rate: Full Weight (~20.00 Points)
- Voter-Turnout Rate: Full Weight (~20.00 Points)
Note: This metric measures the rates for presidential elections.
Sources: Data used to create this ranking were collected from of the U.S. Census Bureau, Bureau of Justice Statistics and Corporation for National and Community Service.