progress report

Texas ranks as 2nd best state for racial progress in 2024, study finds

In an annual study on racial progress, Texas falls slightly behind in the employment and wealth category, ranking No. 13 overall. Photo via Getty Images

In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, personal finance website WalletHub is revisiting its annual report "States with the Most Racial Progress." Texas comes out near the top for 2024, but has room for improvement in several areas.

The report measures the gaps between Black and white residents across 22 key indicators of equality in all 50 states and the District of Columbia to determine the rankings. States are scored in four major categories: employment and wealth, education, social and civic engagement, and health. For the purpose of the study, "adults" include people aged 25 and older.

Texas ranks No. 2 overall in racial progress, placing just behind Georgia (No. 1). But in the study's separate ranking of states with the most racial integration, Texas lands farther down the list, at No. 8.

The racial progress report highlights the Lone Star State's efforts to reduce health insurance coverage gaps between white and Black residents – stating that the divide has reduced more than 13 percent within the last three decades. Improving higher education is another major milestone for the state, the study says.

"Texas has made some of the best progress in the nation when it comes to the share of [B]lack vs. white residents who have at least a bachelor’s degree," the report's author writes. "In fact, it’s one of the only states where the gap has decreased rather than increasing since 1970."

Texas earns top-five rankings in the the categories of education (No. 4) and health (No. 4), and ranked No. 6 in the study's social and civic engagement category. The state falls slightly behind in the employment and wealth category, ranking No. 13 overall.

Texas scores high in the following measures:

  • No. 7 – Change in median annual household income gap
  • No. 10 – Change in poverty rate gap
  • No. 8– Change in gap in the percentage of adults with at least a high school diploma
  • No. 4 – Change in gap in the percentage of adults with at least a bachelor's degree
  • No. 11 – Change in standardized test scores gap
  • No. 10 – Change in voter turnout gap during the 2020 presidential election

According to a 2023 survey by the Pew Research Center, 44 percent of Americans say they feel pessimistic about the nation's "ability to ensure racial equality for all people" in the future, regardless of race or ethnicity. That's compared to 28 percent who feel optimistic."Although our country has made a lot racial progress since the Civil Rights Movement, we still need to do better to ensure equality for everyone," the WalletHub report says. "As we think about ways to improve equality in the future, though, we can also recognize the steps toward racial harmony we’ve already achieved — in our workplaces, in our schools and in our voting booths."Following behind Texas to round out the top 10 states with the most racial progress in 2024 are Mississippi (No. 3), New Mexico (No. 4), Wyoming (No. 5), Connecticut (No. 6), New Jersey (No. 7), Maryland (No. 8), Florida (No. 9), and North Carolina (No. 10).

The report and its methodology can be found on


This article originally ran on CultureMap.

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