Advancing Together: States Recognizing Shared Success in Racial Equality

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A U.S. News analysis highlights the states with the lowest levels of racial and ethnic gaps as well as those that excel in areas like health and education.

Nebraskans appear to be in relatively good health at first glance.

The Cornhusker State ranked in the top 10 U.S. states for that metric between 2017 and 2021 with more than 86% of adults reporting they were in good or better physical condition.

However, a closer inspection reveals uneven wellbeing. According to survey results, nearly 88% of white individuals in Nebraska reported having good or better health, but only 77% of black Nebraskans reported the same.

U.S. News looked at state populations’ overall performance across metrics in areas like health, education, and the economy as part of the Racial Equality in America project, an effort exploring the extent of disparities within important spheres of American society, as well as the outcomes experienced by particular racial and ethnic groups in those same states.

States were ranked based on their overall success in each metric as well as the average disparity across groups for that metric.

This helped to show where communities may be falling behind but also where residents from various backgrounds and heritages have achieved greater levels of shared success.

Nebraska ranks 39th out of 42 states with enough data when it comes to equality in physical health when all of its differences are considered. Hawaii, on the other hand, is comparable to Nebraska in that 86% of adults there are in good or better physical health overall. Despite this, it boasts a significantly lower average disparity between racial and ethnic groupings, ranking it sixth out of 42 states for physical health equality.

According to Dr. Laurie Zephyrin, senior vice president for improving health equity at research-focused organisation The Commonwealth Fund, identifying discrepancies is essential to understanding patients and their experiences in the healthcare sector in particular.

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