Best States to Live for Minorities

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Most Americans think that the state they live in is also a good place for racial and ethnic minorities to live. In a recent poll of all 50 states, the highest scoring state is Hawaii, where 95% of residents say the state is a good place for minorities to live. The lowest scoring state is West Virginia, where a still hefty 74% of those surveyed think the state is a good place to live.

The survey was done by Gallup in a 50-state poll of adults aged 18 or older between June and December of 2013. At least 600 residents were polled in each state. The question Gallup asked was, “Is the city or area you live a good place or not a good place to live for racial or ethnic minorities?” A chart of the results for all 50 states is available below. The 50-state average score was 83%.

Texas and Alaska both scored above 90% and five other states — New Mexico, Washington, New Jersey, Delaware and Nevada — scored 87% or higher.

Among the lowest scoring states after West Virginia were Missouri (76%), Vermont and Arkansas (77%), and eight more states tied at 78%.

Among the 13 states where residents were less likely than average to say their areas were good places for minorities to live, five were in the South and the others were scattered across all other regions of the country.

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Gallup noted:

All of the eight top-ranking states have relatively large minority populations of one race/ethnicity or another. Two — Texas and New Mexico — have large Hispanic populations. Two others — Hawaii and Washington — have large Asian or Native Hawaiian populations. And New Jersey and Nevada have fairly high proportions of Hispanics and Asians relative to the country as a whole. Just one state, Delaware, has a relatively high black population. … [O]f the 13 states scoring below average for perceived minority well-being, none has a large Hispanic or Asian population, while four — Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Michigan — have relatively high proportions of black residents, and Oklahoma has a fairly high proportion of Native Americans.

Gallup concludes:

[T]here is a clear race-related pattern, whereby states with large Hispanic or Asian populations all rank average or above average as good for racial/ethnic minorities, whereas states with large black populations tend to rank average or below average — with Delaware the only exception.

Gallup minorty state May 2014
Source: Gallup

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