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African-Americans in US fall in equality index: Report

Blacks trail whites the most in the areas of economics and social justice.

Washington: Barack Obama rose to become the first black American President in 2009 but African-Americans are faring slightly worse relative to their white counterparts than they did last year, according to an index released on Thursday.

The 2011 Equality Index issued stands at 71.5 percent, compared to a revised index last year of 72.1 percent, the National Urban League said as it released its annual report, called The State of Black America.

An equality index of less than 100 percent suggests blacks are doing worse relative to whites, while an index greater than 100 percent suggests blacks are doing better.

The league attributed the 2011 drop to a decline in the economics index, driven by housing and wealth factors, and to a decline in the health index, driven by children`s health.

Economics and social justice continue to be the areas in which blacks trail whites the most, with ratings of 56.9 percent and 58 percent respectively.

Those are followed by health at 75 percent and education at 78.9 percent, CNN reported.

Since the Equality Index was introduced in 2005, researchers have found growing equality between blacks and whites in the unemployment rate, the percentage of uninsured, the incarceration rate, and prisoners as a percentage of arrests, the league said.

The index has also charted growing inequality over that period in rates of poverty, home ownership, school enrolment (both "preprimary" and college), and the level of educational attainment (both high school diplomas and bachelor`s degrees).

The index of median household income has remained unchanged, the league said.


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