Special Report

The Worst States for Hispanics and Latinos

Source: Thinkstock

10. Rhode Island
> Pct. residents Hispanic: 14.1% (12th highest)
> Homeownership rate: 25.9% (Hispanic), 65.4% (white)
> Unemployment rate: 8.7% (Hispanic), 5.1% (white)
> Incarcerated people per 100,000: 697 (Hispanic), 210 (white)

While Rhode Island has one of the larger and more active Hispanic communities — the state has a long history of Latino social activists, and Providence elected its first Hispanic mayor in 2010 — it is still one of the worst states for Hispanics by a number of measures. Some 8.7% of Hispanic workers in Rhode Island are unemployed, the second largest share of any state and much higher than the 5.1% white unemployment rate. Only Pennsylvania has a larger disparity in unemployment between the two demographics.

Income inequality between white and Hispanic earners is worse in Rhode Island than in nearly any other state. The median household income for Hispanics in Rhode Island of $36,877 a year is $28,608 less than the median income for white households of $65,485 — the fifth largest gap of any state.

Source: Thinkstock

9. New Jersey
> Pct. residents Hispanic: 19.3% (8th highest)
> Homeownership rate: 34.6% (Hispanic), 76.2% (white)
> Unemployment rate: 5.5% (Hispanic), 4.4% (white)
> Incarcerated people per 100,000: 609 (Hispanic), 218 (white)

While New Jersey has one of the larger and more engaged Hispanic communities — the Hispanic population accounts for 19% of the population and 9% of the state legislature, some of the largest shares shares nationwide — it has larger disparities in income, college attainment, and homeownership than nearly any other state.

While the median household income for Hispanics in New Jersey of $52,599 a year is higher than the comparable $46,882 national figure, it is nearly $34,000 below the median among white households of $86,361 — a greater disparity than any state other than Connecticut and Massachusetts.

Source: Thinkstock

8. Colorado
> Pct. residents Hispanic: 21.1% (7th highest)
> Homeownership rate: 48.3% (Hispanic), 70.0% (white)
> Unemployment rate: 4.7% (Hispanic), 3.2% (white)
> Incarcerated people per 100,000: 1,280 (Hispanic), 509 (white)

In Colorado,15.7% of Hispanic adults have a bachelor’s degree, compared to the 46.0% of white adults in the state who do — the largest disparity in college attainment of any state other than California.

Income inequality in Colorado among the worst in the country. While the median household income for Hispanics of $49,201 a year is higher than the comparable $46,882 national figure, it is more than $22,000 below the median among white households in the state of $71,406 — a greater disparity than the comparable national gap of $16,273.

Source: Thinkstock

7. North Dakota
> Pct. residents Hispanic: 3.1% (5th lowest)
> Homeownership rate: 41.1% (Hispanic), 66.9% (white)
> Unemployment rate: N/A, 2.6% (white)
> Incarcerated people per 100,000: 1,032 (Hispanic), 245 (white)

Hispanics are vastly overrepresented in the North Dakota prison population. Adjusted for population, Hispanics in North Dakota are incarcerated at a rate of 787 more prisoners per 100,000 residents than whites in the state, more than twice the national disparity.

North Dakota has a greater degree of income inequality between whites and Hispanics than nearly any other state. The typical Hispanic household in North Dakota earns just $37,239 a year, the fourth least of any state and nearly $27,000 less than the median household income among whites in the state of $64,084. By comparison, the typical Hispanic household nationwide earns about $16,000 less than the typical white households.

Source: Thinkstock

6. New York
> Pct. residents Hispanic: 18.6% (9th highest)
> Homeownership rate: 23.9% (Hispanic), 66.5% (white)
> Unemployment rate: 6.5% (Hispanic), 4.2% (white)
> Incarcerated people per 100,000: 607 (Hispanic), 219 (white)

Roughly 66% of Hispanics in New York state live in New York City. Many of the factors depressing homeownership rates for minorities nationwide — discriminatory lending practices, income inequality, and rising home prices — are amplified in New York City. New York is the only state in which fewer than 1 in 4 Hispanic heads of household own their homes. The Hispanic homeownership is just 23.9%, far less than the 66.5% white homeownership rate. The 42.6 percentage point gap in homeownership is the largest of any state other than Massachusetts.