President Obama opened his January 2015 State of the Union address touting a lower unemployment rate than before the financial crisis, more children graduating than ever before and more people insured than ever before. While each of these milestones is reflected in the 2015 National Urban League Equality Index, it also tells a less popular, though all too familiar, story of persistent racial disparities in American life.
As the National Urban League continues to press the case for closing the divide in economic opportunity, education, health, social justice and civic engagement, the 2015 National Urban League Equality Index™ is the eleventh edition of this critical quantitative tool for tracking Black–White racial equality in America and the sixth edition of the Hispanic–White Index. This year’s Equality Index also includes the second installment of rankings of Black–White and Hispanic–White unemployment and income equality for about 70 metropolitan statistical areas (“metro areas” or “metros”) in America. New to the 2015 Equality Index is a special feature on state-level racial and ethnic disparities in K–12 education that documents the extent of Black–White and Hispanic–White achievement gaps in states across the country. The State Education Index also includes supporting data on some of the factors that contribute to narrowing or widening these gaps.