A new study aimed at revealing the best states in the U.S. to raise Black children, revealed two unfortunate facts – that opportunities for Black children are still disproportionately low compared to opportunities for white children and that the best places to raise Black children have relatively low Black populations.
In April, the Annie E. Casey Foundation set out to study the best and worst states in America for raising Black children by using statistics for “babies born at normal birth weight,” “young adults ages 19 to 26 who are in school or working,” and 10 other statistical metrics.
Each state could have scored a possible 1,000 points.
All the states that had the necessary information available earned scores lower than 600.
As for the highest-ranked states of Hawaii, New Hampshire, Utah and Alaska, their Black populations come in at less than 4 percent, according to the U.S. Census.
These states also don’t have the same regressive policies and systematic discrimination that plagues most of the states with higher Black populations.
There is no history or discriminatory housing policies like the ones that have caused St. Louis to be one of the most segregated cities in the country.
These states also do not boast large numbers of public school closings and budget cuts that have led to federal investigations in states like Illinois and New Jersey, which both have Black populations of nearly 15 percent.
While it is disturbing to note that the top four states for raising Black children have a relatively low Black population, the study certainly did not prove there was a causal relationship between the number of Black residents and how well the states scored in the study.
Wisconsin, for example, had the lowest score of 238 but also has a Black population of only 6.5 percent.
It’s also important to note that Maryland ranked as the sixth best state to raise Black children and has a Black population of more than 30 percent.
One thing that seemed to be true for every state, however, was that it will still be much easier to raise a white child there.
When the same statistical metrics were used to rank opportunities for white children, every states’ score increased.
In fact, the lowest-scoring state for white children still earned a score that was higher than nearly all the scores earned when ranking opportunities for Black children.
As for Asian-American children, this was the only group whose scores actually reached the 900s — with Delaware and New Jersey earning 914 and 903 respectively.