Center for American Progress

RELEASE: New CAP Fact Sheets Explore Economic Benefits of Reducing Racial and Ethnic Inequality in Individual States
Press Release

RELEASE: New CAP Fact Sheets Explore Economic Benefits of Reducing Racial and Ethnic Inequality in Individual States

Washington, D.C. — It is no secret that, in a few decades, the face of the United States will look different than it does today. The nation’s racial and ethnic makeup is changing by the day, and the U.S. Census projects that the majority of the country’s population will be people of color by 2043. With that in mind, in a series of new fact sheets released today, the Center for American Progress explores the economic benefits of reducing racial and ethnic inequality in 12 different states—California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Michigan, North Carolina, New Jersey, New Mexico, Nevada, New York, Texas, and Virginia. These fact sheets take census data on the racial makeup of each of the 12 states and, with projections for that state, look at how reducing inequality by enacting progressive policies will ultimately lead to a stronger economy not just for individual states but also for the country as a whole.

The analysis in these fact sheets explores the effect that reducing inequality would have on the financial security of communities of color, as well as what that increased financial security and those higher incomes will mean for the states in terms of greater tax revenues and the effect on gross domestic product, or GDP. In the state of California, for example, reducing inequality would mean a $20.8 billion tax boost, and the GDP in 2013 would have been $2.7 trillion had inequalities been eliminated.

“While most of the conversation surrounding demographic change focuses on long-term trends, the reality is that this shift is already present today in states across our nation. Leaders across the spectrum—whether they lead businesses, nonprofits, government, or are elected officials—should be thinking about what policy decisions need to be made and what kind of investments need to happen in order to reduce racial gaps,” said Vanessa Cárdenas, Vice President of Progress 2050 at the Center for American Progress. “We hope that these fact sheets illustrate the urgency of the moment and arm progressive advocates with another argument on why closing racial gaps matters for their states.”

As the analysis suggests, enacting sensible policies at the state level throughout the nation to reduce racial and ethnic inequality would help unleash the potential of communities of color, ultimately having tremendous economic impact on the country as a whole.

Related resources:

States of Change: The Demographic Evolution of the American Electorate, 1974–2060

Building an All-In Nation: A View from the American Public

The Changing Face of America’s Electorate: Political Implications of Shifting Demographics

For more information or to speak with an expert on this topic, please contact Tanya S. Arditi at [email protected] or 202.741.6258.