WASHINGTON – African-Americans are worse off and have less access to health care than white Americans this year compared to 2010, an annual report released Thursday said.
In the 35th annual “State of Black America” report, the National Urban League (NUL) said blacks have slid down on an “equality index” on issues ranging from income, homeownership, access to loans and health insurance, and education.
Black America fell to 71.5 percent on the equality index in 2011 compared to 72.1 percent last year, largely because of the slumping US economy, the NUL said.
“We have seen growing inequality in the poverty rate, the homeownership rate, educational attainment… and school enrollment rates,” since the equality index was added to the annual report in 2005, the NUL said.
Blacks still earn less than whites and are less likely to own their own home, the report says.
In fact, the only areas in which the inequalities between the two groups have narrowed are negative issues such as unemployment, lack of health insurance and the incarceration rate.
That “reflects a worsened condition for the population in general” as the United States tries to pull out of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression in the 1930s, NUL president Marc Morial said.
“With every downturn in the economy, urban and minority communities fall further and further behind,” he said.
For the second year, the report also gave Hispanics their own equality index rating, which rose slightly compared to last year — from 76.6 percent to 76.8 percent.
But overall, Latinos still lag far behind their white American counterparts in terms of wealth, education, health and justice, with the equality gap growing in the areas of loan access and college enrollment, the report said.