Nevada ranks ninth nationwide in racial economic disparity, study says

Chart showing how households in Nevada from different racial and ethnic groups based on data measurements.
Chart showing how households in Nevada from different racial and ethnic groups based on data measurements.

Nevada ranks ninth nationwide in economic racial disparity, according to Prosperity Now, a public policy think tank focused on economic opportunity for low-income families and communities in the United States.

This week, the Washington, DC-based nonprofit released a scorecard ranking all 50 states and the District of Columbia on the prosperity of their residents. The data reveals Americans—especially people of color—remain vulnerable in the face of the last recession.

Nevada’s poverty rate of 12 percent is just under the national average of 13 percent.  But 17 percent of households of color in Nevada live in poverty, compared with nine percent of white households, according to data from the 2017 American Community Survey. Other racial groups experienced poverty at even higher rates. About 31 percent of Native American households and about 26 percent of African American households live in poverty. 

Data also show about 11 percent of households of color in Nevada report falling behind on bill payments in the past 12 months compared to about five percent of white households. 

The state of Nevada also fell behind on insurance coverage for the total population. The uninsured rate for the state is 13 percent, in contrast to ten percent nationwide. People of color accounted for a higher rate of those who are uninsured, according to the study. The percentage of the non-elderly population (under 65) without health insurance was significantly higher among people of color who were uninsured at a rate of about 18 percent compared to nine percent of white individuals.

Jeniffer Solis
Reporter | Jeniffer was born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada where she attended the University of Nevada, Las Vegas before graduating in 2017 with a B.A in Journalism and Media Studies. While at UNLV she was a senior staff writer for the student newspaper, the UNLV Scarlet and Gray Free Press, and a news reporter for KUNV 91.5 FM, covering everything from the Route 91 shooting to UNLV housing. She has also contributed to the UNLV News Center and worked as a production engineer for several KUNV broadcasts before joining the Nevada Current. She’s an Aries.


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