A Look at Race Relations in North Dakota (It’s Not Good)
With Martin Luther King Jr. just a week away, Wallet Hub released a study to look at racial progress that has been made across the United States.
There's a few things we need to take note of before we dive into these statistics. Though the term 'race' and 'racial' was used, the report refers only to those who identify as African American and does not include other minorities.
Additionally, according to the US Census Bureau in 2015, only 2.4 percent of North Dakotans identify as African American. That percentage applies to those identifying only as African American and does not include those who identify as mixed. This means that there are just over 18,000 individuals identifying as only African American in North Dakota.
With that being said, let's dive into the statistics. Wallet Hub looked at racial integration in the state, the median income gap, the gap of those who own homes, the unemployment gap, those living in poverty and a ton of other factors.
The study ranks states on two lists. The first list is 'racial integration.' On this list, North Dakota ranks No. 28 in the U.S. In fact, North Dakota has one of the highest income gaps between Caucasians and African Americans in the U.S. That fact reiterates another study released by 24/7 Wall Street in 2016 that showed a similar statistic.
The 24/7 Wall Street report, ranked North Dakota as the state with the worst income gap in the U.S. The Wallet Hub report has North Dakota has the 5th worst state. Either way, income inequality between blacks and whites is a problem in North Dakota.
When it comes to the gap in home ownership between blacks and whites, Wallet Hub ranked North Dakota the worst in the U.S.
North Dakota also boasts the 5th highest poverty gap rate between blacks and whites in the U.S.
Despite these numbers, there is some positive news. North Dakota was ranked No. 7 on Wallet Hub's list of the states with the most racial progress.
Though North Dakota had one of the lowest changes of median income gaps between blacks and whites, North Dakota had the highest change in labor force participation. This means many more African Americans in North Dakota are working, but unfortunately they are still not pulling in nearly the same salaries as Caucasians.
North Dakota of course had the highest change in the unemployment rate gap as well.
Additionally, although the gap is large between blacks who own homes compared to whites, North Dakota did have the second highest change in the home ownership gap. So things are at least improving in that regard.
Unfortunately, North Dakota had one of the lowest changes in the poverty rate gap. This is not too surprising considering we already determined that North Dakota has not done well improving the income gap in the state.
North Dakota also had the lowest change in the gap between residents who have at least a High School Diploma.
Though, the African American population in North Dakota may not be that large, we still need to work together to help the over 18,000 African American North Dakotans who are uneducated, without homes, living in poverty, and searching for jobs.