Latino Family
Latino family sitting in the roof of their home. This is a representational image. Gregoire

NEW YORK CITY - Even though significant advances have been made towards racial equity and equality, the United States is nowhere near on pace to eliminate overall disparities for Latino residents over the next century, a new study by the McKinsey Institute for Black Economic Mobility shows.

In its new study, titled "The state of Black Residents" the McKinsey Institute looks at opportunities and outcomes for Black communities. Nevertheless, for this report the Institute also decided to include Latinos as a way of providing a fuller picture of the disparities of minorities across the country.

The Institute tried to see where the majority of Latino and Black residents were located across the U.S. According to the report, about 19% of the U.S. population identifies as Hispanic or Latino, with roughly two-thirds of that number being born in the United States, and one third being foreign born.

They found that Black and Latino residents are more than twice as likely as White residents to live in megacities, like New York City or Los Angeles, which are home to 30% of Black and 38% of Latino residents, compared to 15% for White. Similarly, Latino residents are slightly overrepresented in both high-growth hubs, such as Austin, Texas, (9%), and trailing cities like Flint, Michigan, (7%).

Bryant park New York City
Bryant Park in New York City Image by RGY23 from Pixabay

But despite the different types of residencies and living conditions, the report argues, nowhere do Black or Latino residents experience even three-quarters the average well-being of their White neighbors.

However, the report clarifies, Latino-White disparities are slightly smaller than that of Black-White disparities.

America's megacities are the areas that see the largest amounts of disparities regardless of the fact that these are where more than one in three Black or Latino residents live. Overall, Black outcomes in megacities are only 55% of overall White outcomes, with Latino outcomes being 57%. Megacities also produce some of the lowest overall Latino outcomes in the country, the Institute reports.

Other types of urban communities reported similar Latino outcomes: between 61% and 63% of White well-being. Interestingly, rural communities— which had the lowest Latino population in the country— presented the greatest parity for these residents in comparison to that of White people.

It is clear that when it comes to eliminating disparities, some progress has been made. But what about the future?

To assess whether conditions were moving in the right direction, these researchers looked at changes for Black and Latino residents over the past decade. "The good news" from this analysis is that these minorities' overall economic, physical and social well-being was higher at the decade's end than at the start.

But the caveat is that outcomes for White residents also improved during this time to the same degree or even more, meaning that these gaps never closed.

The Institute also found that Latinos are making faster progress when it comes to closing disparity than their Black counterparts. In fact, the gaps in outcomes between Latino residents and their White neighbors are on track to close centuries sooner than those separating Black and White residents. But still, the study argues, this is not enough.

In order to remedy these trends, the institute suggests to begin by looking at the sources of disparities, most of which deal with jobs and educational opportunities, housing, healthcare, physical and mental well-being and more.

"Dramatically accelerating the timeline to parity for both Black and Latino residents would mean upending the status quo," the study argues. "These efforts would similarly benefit Latino communities— and, indeed, residents of all backgrounds. While they require substantial investment, they could also yield real long-term and economic returns."

© 2024 Latin Times. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.