National Urban League Publishes 2024 “State of Black America” Equity Index Report

The National Urban League has published their “State of Black America” report for 2024. Six decades after the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the report identifies sectors where inequality persists, areas of progress, and the actions President Biden has taken to advance racial equality in America.

The “State of Black America” report calculates an equity index between Black and White Americans by analyzing five sub-indexes: economics, health, education, social justice, and civic engagement. The 2024 equity index of 75.7 percent is an increase of 1.8 percent from the 2022 index of 73.9 percent. The sub-index with the most parity between Black and White Americans was civic engagement, with an equity index of 95.6 percent. The social justice sub-index reflected the largest gap in equality with an index of 55.7 percent. However, while the social justice category reflected the lowest equity index, it has seen a significant increase from 2000 when the index was only 26.2 percent.

While the equity index remains less than 100 percent, there have been areas of improvement for Black equality in the United States. The percentage of Black students who dropped out of high school decreased from 13.1 percent in 2000 to 3.9 percent in 2024. The current college enrollment gap between Black and White men is only 2.4 percentage points, and Black women’s college enrollment percentage is greater than both Black and White men’s percentages. Additionally, there was a significant improvement in the age-adjusted death rates of Black Americans.

The report also identifies areas where equality between Black and White Americans has stayed stagnant or, in some cases, decreased. Despite the improvement in mortality rates, the life expectancy of Black Americans is still 5.5 years less than White Americans. The wealth gap between Black and White households has remained virtually unchanged from 63 percent in 2000 to 64 percent in 2024. Additionally, there was a decrease in the Black homeownership index from 64 percent in 2000 to 61 percent in 2024. While the Black unemployment rate has improved from 7.6 percent in 2000 to 5.3 percent in 2024, it remains greater than the White unemployment rate at 3.4 percent.

As a whole, the report commends President Biden’s actions to advance Black equality in the United States. The report discusses the president’s efforts to support criminal justice reforms, improve access to education and healthcare, and invest in economic opportunities for Black people.

The full report can be accessed here.

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