A new study ranking each California county by racial disparity was recently released by the Advancement Project, a multiracial civil rights organization. The study examined seven specific measures — economic opportunity, healthcare access, education, housing, democracy, crime and justice, and environment — and tracked publicly accessible data to show how Caucasians, Latinos, Asians and African Americans fared in each category.
Here’s a look at what the study says about Southern California.
California county rankings
The study defined disparity as how well racial groups in a county are doing compared to each other. Rankings are determined based on data from more than 55 categories among the following key issues:
- Crime and safety
- Democracy (voting)
- Economic opportunity
- Health care access
- Healthy built environment
The map below shows the rankings for each California county in terms of racial disparity.
Southern California snapshots
Median household income in Southern California
Per 1,000 people by race in Orange, Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Riverside counties:
Performance – how well all people in a given county are doing.
Six takeaways from across the state
1. People of color living in counties that are known for having liberal social and economic policies are being left behind. The Bay Area has the highest performing counties in the region, but it is the most disparate region statewide, including high-population counties such as Alameda and San Francisco.
2. Marin County has the highest ranking for disparity and performance.
3. The study claims racial disparity drives down performance, as seen in all eight Central Valley counties, which are among the lowest performing in the state.
4. Los Angeles County has the least racial disparity in terms of elected officials in the state. In Los Angeles County, blacks and Latinos are left with nearly two times less income than white renters after paying for housing.
5. Los Angeles and Orange counties have some of the highest percentages of minority-owned businesses.
Orange County has one of the best graduation rates for all high school students in the state.
6. Riverside County is one of the most equitable in terms of homeownership rates in the state.
The black community suffers from the most disparate conditions throughout California, across key issues and indicators.
The Latino community is affected by the largest impact due to population size.