Racial/Ethnic Income Equity

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In 2015-2019, the average incomes of BIPOC* and Latino or Hispanic Mainers rose but remained 37% below White Mainers, dramatically short of full equity. *Black, Indigenous, People of Color

No significant movement since the last available data

Benchmark: The average per-capita income of Mainers of color will improve to the state average by 2030.

Overview Fig. A

Overview

The Council strongly believes that Maine will need the contributions of every resident to achieve a vibrant, sustainable economy. Increasing prosperity is not true progress unless it is equitably shared. This will require broad, deep, and long-term systemic change.

From 2015 to 2019, the average per-capita income of BIPOC and Latino or Hispanic Maine residents of color (7% of the population) was $21,007. That is 63% of the $33,487 average for white, non-Hispanic Maine residents (93% of the state’s population). This is a small increase from 61% in 2014-2018, but for every $3 made by white households, households of color made $2.

This stark racial income disparity is similar to New England and the United States. To counter it, Maine must improve access to training and education for residents of color, better support their communities and businesses, and address cultural biases and systemic disadvantages. No U.S. state has eliminated the racial income gap yet, but in West Virginia and Vermont, households of color earn over 70% as much as white households.

Fig. A

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Average Per-Capita Income, 2015-2019

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey