A recent article in The Washington Post presents a startling picture of the divergence in well-being between white and black residents of the metro Washington region. Although the region ranked at the top of the list for overall well-being – measured by health education and income) – there are a number of areas where the divide between white and black residents is significant; life expectancy being perhaps the starkest example: “White D.C. residents have the longest life expectancy of whites in any state 83.1 years. That is 12 years longer than the life span on average for blacks in the city. The average life expectancy for blacks is 71 the lowest for blacks in any state.”
It appears that the region’s very high percentage of residents with bachelor’s and advanced degrees combined with a high average income and comparatively low unemployment is enough to counter the relatively low life expectancy for much of the region’s residents.
While many of the statistics look promising to really move forward the region’s economic health and education achievements must be shared far more among all of its residents. Meeting RF targets on health and education will help our region’s future growth is more inclusive.