Measuring Childhood Inequity and Opportunity in U.S. Cities

measuring-childhood-inequity-nlciFor decades, demographers have been predicting that around 2050, whites will no longer make up the majority share of the U.S. population. Children under the age of 6 are already there: More than half are black, Asian, Latino, Native American, Pacific Islander or some combination. By 2020, the majority of all U.S. children won’t be white.

But shifting demographics have not been matched with equal opportunity, often leaving children of color disadvantaged compared to their white peers — living in neighborhoods with higher rates of poverty, attending more segregated schools, even when their families have similar incomes. A comprehensive new tool by diversitydatakids.org compiles a staggering array of data about children’s neighborhood environments, much of it broken out by race or ethnicity and socioeconomic status. Ample research has shown that a child’s neighborhood environment bears heavily on well-being and life chances, even after they move elsewhere. The tool allows users to compare how states, counties, metro areas, large cities and large school districts rank in terms of childhood inequity. It even includes neighborhood-level “childhood opportunity” maps of the country’s 100 largest cities.

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