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How U.S. systemic racism plays out in Black lives

Video Credit: Reuters - Politics - Duration: 03:04s - Published
How U.S. systemic racism plays out in Black lives

How U.S. systemic racism plays out in Black lives

From birth to death, Black people face systemic inequality in the United States more than 150 years after slavery was abolished.

Matthew Larotonda reports.

Black people do face systemic disadvantages in American life.

Less education, less wealth, poorer health, shorter lifespans.

So let’s chart the inequalities that play out over the course of a lifetime - beginning in the womb.

Black women are three to four times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than white women.

Out of every 100,000 live births, 42 Black women die from these causes - compared to 13 white women.

Black infants also die at about twice the rate of white infants.

The reasons for this are complex, but access and quality of healthcare likely plays a role.

The disparities extend to the basics of life.

Black households are two and a half times more likely to experience food insecurity than white households.

Out of every 100 Black households, 21 struggle to provide enough food - compared to 8 white households.

Racial disparities are solidified in school.

Less than a third of Black students attain a bachelor’s degree or higher, compared to almost half of white students.

There is a 16 percentage point gap between Black and white students with bachelor’s degrees.

That gap has persisted for nearly two decades, and it sets up many for a lifetime of disadvantage.

Only 15% of Black children have high-quality preschooling, compared to 24% of white children.

It’s been over six decades since the U.S. Supreme Court outlawed school segregation.

But black children often attend schools that are effectively segregated anyway, due to housing discrimination and gerrymandering of school districts.

The schools they do attend are also often underfunded.

Here's a big one: Black families have one-tenth of the median net worth that white families have.

That’s a gap of $153,000 - and it’s growing.

It’s due to a range of disparities across the U.S. economy.

For example, Black people are about twice as likely to be unemployed.

That spills over into healthcare - where Black adults are one and a half times less likely to have health insurance.

That lifetime of lower pay means many Black Americans live on less in retirement, as well.

Households nearing retirement have a median savings of $30,000, which amounts to one quarter of the amount held by white households.

All these disadvantages in education, healthcare and wealth contribute to a shorter life span.

The life expectancy gap has narrowed, but still persists.

Black men have a life expectancy of 72.2 years, more than four years less than white men at 76.6 years.




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