Report ranks states for racial integration and progress. How did Pa. do? | The Numbers Racket

By: - January 18, 2021 6:30 am

Black Lives Matter protesters match down Harrisburg’s Front Street in response to the death of George Floyd, May 30, 2020 (Capital-Star photo).

A new report by WalletHub, a personal finance website, ranked the states with the most racial progress using 2020 data. 

The analysis ranked the states based on two measures – racial integration and racial progress using four key areas (employment and wealth, education, social and civic engagement and health) and 21 metrics relevant to those four key areas. 

Note: All comparisons refer to the gap between white people and Black people, according to the most recent data available. 

Overall Score

The Keystone State ranked 42nd nationally for racial integration and 35th nationally for its level of racial progress made over time. 

Source: WalletHub


Areas of Concern

Labor Force Participation – According to the analysis, Pennsylvania has one of the lowest rates of change in labor force participation, ranking 49th among states. 

Standardized Test Score Gap – An area of concern identified in the report is Pennsylvania’s high standardized test score gap among students. 

Ranking 44th nationally, these five states had the highest standardized test score gap, according to the report. 

  1. California
  2. Pennsylvania
  3. Iowa
  4. Wisconsin
  5. District of Columbia

A 2018 study by the National Center for Education Statistics found that the average SAT score for white students was 1123, while the average score for Black students was 946 and 990 for hispanic students. 

Infant Mortality Rate Gap – One of the areas where Pennsylvania has made progress is in its infant mortality rate gap, the report found. Pennsylvania had the third highest change in infant mortality rates among states. 

The top five states with the highest change in infant mortality rate gaps are: 

  • Colorado
  • Minnesota
  • Pennsylvania
  • Virginia 
  • Tennessee

In 2018, the Centers for Disease Control reported that Pennsylvania had an infant mortality rate of 5.9 per 1,000 live births.

The same year, infant mortality rates among Black infants was nearly double (10.8 per 1,000 live births) that of white infants (4.6 per 1,000 live births) nationally. 

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Cassie Miller
Cassie Miller

A native Pennsylvanian, Cassie Miller worked for various publications across the Midstate before joining the team at the Pennsylvania Capital-Star. In her previous roles, she has covered everything from local sports to the financial services industry.