Just in time for the national holiday honoring the late Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., a financial news website has rated Maryland the ninth most racially integrated state in the nation.
The site WalletHub has come up with the ranking by looking at the gap between whites and blacks in some key economic data and other quality of life measurements — 21 sets of statistics overall. The study found that Maryland is:
- 7th lowest – Median Annual Income Gap
- 11th lowest – Labor-Force Participation Rate Gap
- 14th lowest – Unemployment Rate Gap
- 6th lowest – Homeownership Rate Gap
- 5th lowest – Poverty Rate Gap
- 12th lowest – Gap in percentage of adults (age 25 and older) with at least a high school diploma
- Lowest – Voter turnout gap (in the 2016 presidential election)
According to WalletHub, New Mexico — with large Hispanic and Native American populations but with a relatively small African-American population — is the most integrated state in the U.S. Hawaii, whose population is an ethnic and racial stew, is No. 2.
Some of the states rated ahead of Maryland barely have any black population at all, including Wyoming, West Virginia and Montana.
When it comes to the category of achieving racial progress over time, Maryland is ranked No. 11 in the country. Wyoming heads this list, followed by Texas, Mississippi, Georgia and New Jersey.
The WalletHub survey was accompanied by a Pew Research Center poll from 2019, which showed that 45% of Americans think the U.S. hasn’t done enough to give black Americans equal rights to white Americans. In addition, 58% said race relations are “generally bad,” while 53% said they are getting worse.