Racism: Understanding its Prevalence and Impact through Comprehensive Statistical Analysis | Teen Ink

Racism: Understanding its Prevalence and Impact through Comprehensive Statistical Analysis

August 2, 2023
By Sadeel DIAMOND, Dayton, New Jersey
Sadeel DIAMOND, Dayton, New Jersey
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Abstract: Racism, as a deeply rooted social issue, has significant implications for individuals and communities worldwide. This paper endeavors to provide a comprehensive analysis of racism by utilizing a wide range of statistical data from reputable sources. By exploring key indicators and trends across various domains, this paper seeks to shed light on the widespread nature of racism and its detrimental effects on marginalized communities. Moreover, it emphasizes the urgent need for collective efforts to address racism and foster a more inclusive and equitable society.

Racism, defined as discrimination or prejudice against individuals based on their race, remains a pressing concern in contemporary society. This paper aims to delve into the prevalence and consequences of racism by employing comprehensive statistical data, enabling a more nuanced understanding of this complex issue and its impact on marginalized populations.

Prevalence of Racial Discrimination:

a. Hate Crimes: According to the FBI's Hate Crime Statistics report for 2020, race-based bias constituted the highest proportion of hate crime motivations, accounting for 48.4% of all reported incidents. Such crimes often target Black, Asian, and other minority groups, resulting in physical harm and psychological trauma.

b. Employment Discrimination: A study by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) reveals that African American workers consistently experience higher unemployment rates compared to their white counterparts, with the gap persisting across educational levels. This employment disparity perpetuates racial inequality and stifles economic progress for communities of color.

c. Housing Discrimination: The National Fair Housing Alliance's 2020 Fair Housing Trends Report highlights that 81% of fair housing violations were related to race and disability. This data underscores the ongoing challenges faced by minority groups in securing equitable housing opportunities.

Education Disparities:

a. High School Graduation Rates: The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) reported a disparity in high school graduation rates. In the 2018-2019 academic year, the graduation rate for Black students was 79%, while the rate for white students was 89%. This significant gap reflects unequal educational opportunities.

b. School Discipline: The U.S. Department of Education's 2015-16 Civil Rights Data Collection revealed that students of color, particularly Black students, are disproportionately subjected to harsher disciplinary actions compared to their white peers. This trend perpetuates the school-to-prison pipeline and impedes the educational success of minority students.

Criminal Justice System:

a. Arrest Rates: The Bureau of Justice Statistics data indicates that Black individuals are more likely to be arrested compared to white individuals for similar offenses. This racial bias within the criminal justice system contributes to the overrepresentation of minorities in the criminal justice system.

b. Incarceration Rates: The Sentencing Project's report on racial disparities in the criminal justice system reveals that Black Americans are incarcerated at more than five times the rate of white Americans. This mass incarceration disproportionately affects communities of color and hinders societal progress.

Health Disparities:

a. COVID-19 Impact: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that Black, Indigenous, and Latino communities were disproportionately affected by COVID-19, experiencing higher infection and mortality rates compared to white communities. This disparity underscores the deep-rooted health inequities faced by marginalized populations.

b. Healthcare Access: The Kaiser Family Foundation data indicates that people of color often face barriers to accessing quality healthcare, leading to disparities in health outcomes, treatment options, and preventive care.

Economic Inequality:

a. Wealth Gap: The Federal Reserve's Survey of Consumer Finances reveals significant disparities in wealth accumulation, with white families having a median wealth nearly ten times higher than Black families and seven times higher than Latino families. This wealth gap perpetuates generational inequality and hampers economic mobility.

b. Wage Gap: The U.S. Census Bureau reports that in 2020, Black workers earned approximately 75 cents for every dollar earned by white workers. This persistent wage gap impedes financial security and upward mobility for minority communities.

Comprehensive statistical data provides compelling evidence of the prevalence and impact of racism in various aspects of society, including hate crimes, education, criminal justice, health, and economic opportunities. Acknowledging these disparities is vital to dismantling systemic racism and fostering an inclusive society. By confronting racism head-on and implementing targeted policies and initiatives, we can strive to create a more equitable and just future for all.


Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). (2020). 2020 Hate Crime Statistics. ucr.fbi.gov/hate-crime/2020

Economic Policy Institute (EPI). (2021). Black workers face two of the most lethal preexisting conditions for coronavirus—racism and economic inequality. epi.org/blog/black-workers-face-two-of-the-most-lethal-preexisting-conditions-for-coronavirus-racism-and-economic-inequality/

National Fair Housing Alliance. (2021). 2020 Fair Housing Trends Report. nationalfairhousing.org/2020-fair-housing-trends-report/

National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). (2021). Graduation rates. nces.ed.gov/programs/coe/indicator_coi.asp

U.S. Department of Education. (2018). 2015-16 Civil Rights Data Collection: A First Look. www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/docs/2015-16-first-look.pdf

Bureau of Justice Statistics. (2020). Arrest data analysis tool. bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=datool&surl=/arrests/index.cfm

The Sentencing Project. (2021). Report: Racial Disparities in the United States Criminal Justice System. sentencingproject.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/Black-Lives-Matter.pdf

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2021). COVID-19 hospitalization and death by race/ethnicity. covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#cases_casesper100klast7days

Kaiser Family Foundation. (2020). Health Coverage by Race and Ethnicity. kff.org/racial-equity-and-health-policy/issue-brief/health-coverage-by-race-and-ethnicity-2/

Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. (2019). Survey of Consumer Finances. federalreserve.gov/econres/scfindex.htm

U.S. Census Bureau. (2021). Income and Poverty in the United States: 2020. census.gov/library/publications/2021/demo/p60-274.html

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