Author: Maggie Smith
The new NC Racial Equity Dashboard has three main sections of data: Income and Wealth, Employment and Joblessness, and Economic Mobility. This article outlines available data and a key finding for each section.
Note: The data in the NC Racial Equity Dashboard is primarily at the state level due to challenges in obtaining accurate, timely information and maintaining an acceptable margin of error when examining data by racial and ethnic groups within smaller, sub-state areas. Any county-specific metrics featured on the dashboard are noted in the article. For more details about the data, please refer to the Methodology and Notes section of the dashboard.
Section 1. Income and Wealth
The income and wealth section of the NC Racial Equity Dashboard includes data on median household income, poverty rates, business performance, and homeownership rates by race and ethnicity.
Median household income varies significantly by racial and ethnic group. The median household income for the total population of North Carolina was $60,516 with a range of $97,811 for the Asian group to $40,437 for the American Indian group.
Section 2: Employment and Joblessness
The employment and joblessness section of the NC Equity Dashboard includes data on employment growth, industry employment, employment rate, unemployment rate, wage growth, and average monthly wages (county-level data available).
The unemployment rate measures the percentage of the labor force that is currently unemployed and actively seeking work. In 2022, the unemployment rate for the Black population was more than double the unemployment rate for White, AAPI, and Hispanic groups in North Carolina (Figure 2).
Section 3: Economic Mobility
Economic mobility refers to an individual’s ability to improve their economic status over time. The economic mobility section of the NC Equity Dashboard includes data on educational attainment, broadband access (county-level), unemployment duration, and business ownership.
American Indians (13.5%), Hispanic (17.5%), and Black (22.9%) populations had the lowest percentages of Bachelor’s and Graduate or professional degrees, while the Asian population (60%) had the highest percentage of individuals with Bachelor’s degrees and above (Figure 3). Higher educational attainment often leads to better job opportunities and higher earning potential. This may partially explain why the Asian population in North Carolina also had the highest median household income.
Examining data through a racial and ethnic lens is essential for addressing economic disparities, informing policymaking, and ensuring that everyone has an equal chance at success. The NC Racial Equity Dashboard was created to provide a transparent view of key indicators and promote informed decision-making in the pursuit of a more equitable society.