2013 Report

The 2013 Equality Index report, published by the National Urban League, provides a comprehensive overview of the progress and challenges in achieving equality, particularly for Black Americans, over a period of 50 years. This report includes an introduction to the 2013 Equality Index by Valerie Rawlston Wilson, Ph.D., and a section on understanding the Equality Index by Madura Wijewardena.

The report presents a retrospective look at equality in America since the National Urban League first introduced the Equality Index in 2004. It emphasizes that while changes in the Equality Index from one year to the next have been minimal, the longer horizon reveals the outcomes of ongoing battles for equality. Coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the historic March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, the 2013 report offers a 50-year retrospective look at economic and educational equality in America through the lens of the Equality Index.

Significant findings in the report highlight the progress in educational attainment for Black Americans. Since 1963, there has been a substantial increase in school enrollment and educational achievement among Black Americans. For instance, the rate of high school completion among Black adults has significantly improved, with only 15% not completing high school, compared to one-quarter 50 years ago. Moreover, there are now 3.5 times more Black 18-24-year-olds enrolled in college and 5 times as many Black adults holding college degrees compared to 1963. These educational advancements are attributed to increased access to opportunities resulting from the Civil Rights Movement and affirmative action policies.

However, the report also notes that, despite these educational achievements, there has been less relative progress in economic equality when compared to whites. The unemployment rate gap has only narrowed by 6 percentage points, the income gap by 7 percentage points, and the homeownership rate gap by 6 percentage points. In contrast, the high school completion gap has closed significantly more, by 57 percentage points. This indicates that, while educational parity has seen considerable improvements, economic parity between Black and white Americans remains a challenge. The 2013 Equality Index for Black America stands at 71.7%, suggesting that, on average, Black Americans enjoy less than three-fourths of the benefits and privileges available to white Americans.

2013 release

Equality Index

The 2013 Equality Index, a pivotal report by the National Urban League, offers a profound examination of racial equality in America, focusing on the progress and ongoing challenges faced by Black Americans. Marking 50 years since the historical March on Washington, the report reflects on the significant strides in education and the persistent disparities in economic outcomes since 1963.

It underscores the fact that while educational advancements for Black Americans have been noteworthy, achieving economic parity with their white counterparts remains elusive. This retrospective analysis serves as a crucial tool in understanding the landscape of racial equality over half a century.

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