Racial Equity

Systemic racism is a global, national and local issue, underlying and amplifying many of our most critical social challenges. In this section, we examine a wide range of indicators that highlight racial and ethnic disparities within such areas of life as Children & Youth, Economy & Workforce, Education and Financial Self-Sufficiency.

The disparity data reflects the effects of centuries of structural racism in America, starting with the simultaneous genocide of indigenous peoples and enslavement of Africans and moving through the development and institutionalization of racist ideology and policies impacting nearly every facet of life in this country. In the United States, long-standing and far-reaching structural systems have been created and sustained over centuries to hinder access to economic, educational and social opportunities for people of color and their families, while also facilitating greater access to those opportunities for White people and their families.

These historic and current policies, practices and systems include housing policies that restrict access to people of color, employment discrimination, unequal access to financial services and capital, education systems that fail to equitably educate all students, racism in health care delivery, racial profiling and inequitable sentencing in policing and criminal justice and many others. These inequities have compounded over generations, impacting decades of family members. This is significantly illustrated by the redlining practices of the 1930s that blocked Black people and people of color from securing real estate, leaving them unable to benefit from a critical opportunity to create and transfer wealth across generations.

As a result of these racist policies and systems, we see very large disparities in the indicators included in this section which range from educational assessments to poverty and income to homeownership rates. We invite you to explore the data in this section in the context of the structural and systemic racism that underlies these disparities.

In our county of more than 780,000 people, many are impacted. While Essex County is 80% white, our population includes about 31,000 African Americans (4%), 27,000 Asians (3%), and 22,500 people (3%) who identify as being of two or more races. In addition, people of Hispanic heritage (which is considered by the U.S. Census to be an ethnicity, rather than a race) make up 20% of our residents, or close to 160,000 people.

We also recommend the following resources to learn more about structural racism: The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander (https://newjimcrow.com/), Isabel Wilkerson’s Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents, The Color of Law by Richard Rothstein and Stamped from the Beginning by Ibram X. Kendi. There are also data resources such as the National Equity Atlas; racial equity-focused research from organizations like the Urban Institute; tools for learning and change such as those available at Racial Equity Tools, including this paper on race and systems thinking; and personal narratives from writers such as Ta-Nehisi Coates.





INDICATORS TREND | ESSEX COUNTY
Prevalence of Overweight Adults Not Applicable
Early Prenatal Care by Mother's Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Preterm Births Increasing
Infant Mortality Rate Maintaining
Children with Elevated Blood Lead Levels Decreasing
Children Living in Poverty Increasing
Children Living in Poverty by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Child Abuse and Neglect Increasing
Disengaged Youth Maintaining
Live Births to Teen Mothers Decreasing
Youth Arrests Decreasing
Arts, Entertainment and Recreation Establishments Increasing
Arts, Entertainment and Recreation Employment Maintaining
Tourism Spending Increasing
Voter Participation Rate Decreasing
Charitable Contributions Maintaining
Protected Land Not Applicable
Days with Good Air Quality Increasing
Beach Contamination Increasing
Daily Water Use per Resident Decreasing
Crimes Against People Decreasing
Crimes Against Property Decreasing
Drug-Related Arrests Maintaining
Reports of Domestic Violence Increasing
Incarceration Rates Decreasing
Recidivism Decreasing
Households Without Vehicles Maintaining
Means of Transportation to Work Not Applicable
Traffic Injuries and Fatalities Maintaining
Households With Internet Access Not Applicable
Change in Total Population Increasing
Change in Population by Age/Gender Not Applicable
People 65 or Older Living Alone Decreasing
People with Disabilities Maintaining
Households by Type Not Applicable
Single-Parent Families by Gender Not Applicable
Single-Parent Families by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Change in Population by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Foreign-Born Population Increasing
Language Diversity Increasing
Change in Total Jobs Increasing
Change in Jobs by Sector Not Applicable
Change in Average Salary Increasing
Change in Average Salary by Sector Not Applicable
Average Salary by Sector Not Applicable
Median Earnings by Occupation by Gender Not Applicable
People Entering/Leaving County for Work Not Applicable
Employer Size Not Applicable
Self-Employment Revenue Increasing
Unemployment Rate Maintaining
Unemployment Rate by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Prekindergarten Participation Not Applicable
Female Enrollment in School Not Applicable
Chronically Absent Students Increasing
Per-Student Spending Increasing
Bullying Decreasing
Student Performance on Grade 3 Reading Not Applicable
Student Performance on Grade 8 Math by Student Group Not Applicable
Student Performance on Grade 10 English Language Arts Not Applicable
Student Performance on Grade 10 Math Not Applicable
High School Cohort Graduation Rate Increasing
High School Cohort Graduation Rate by Student Group Not Applicable
Education Levels of Adults Not Applicable
Bachelor's Degree or Higher by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Income in Relation to Poverty Level Not Applicable
People Living in Poverty by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Median Household Income Maintaining
Median Household Income by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Median Household Income by Household Type Not Applicable
Living Wage Rate by Household Type Not Applicable
Households Receiving Temporary Assistance Maintaining
Households Receiving Federal Food Assistance Decreasing
Participation in Food Assistance by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Earned Income Tax Credit Participation Decreasing
Economically Disadvantaged Students Increasing
Median Home Value Increasing
Housing Affordability for Homeowners Increasing
Housing Affordability for Renters Increasing
Homeownership Rates Maintaining
Homeownership Rates by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Homeless Persons Increasing
People Without Health Insurance Decreasing
Medical Care Expenses Increasing
Prevalence of Children with Asthma Maintaining
Prevalence of Overweight Children Maintaining
Diabetes Incidence Decreasing
Chronic Disease Among Older Adults Increasing
Cancer Incidence Decreasing
Cancer Mortality Rate Decreasing
Heart Disease Mortality Rate Decreasing
Mortality Rate Decreasing
People who Smoke Not Applicable
Use of Illegal Drugs Not Applicable
Youth Use of Illegal Drugs Not Applicable
Substance Abuse Treatment Admissions Not Applicable
Drug Overdose Mortality Rate Increasing
Prevalence of Mental Illness Maintaining
Suicide Rate Maintaining
Children Living in Poverty by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Single-Parent Families by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Change in Population by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Unemployment Rate by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Student Performance on Grade 3 Reading Not Applicable
Student Performance on Grade 8 Math by Student Group Not Applicable
Student Performance on Grade 10 English Language Arts Not Applicable
Student Performance on Grade 10 Math Not Applicable
High School Cohort Graduation Rate by Student Group Not Applicable
Bachelor's Degree or Higher by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
People Living in Poverty by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Median Household Income by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Participation in Food Assistance by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Homeownership Rates by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable