10 states with the most job, education and income equality

State of Equality

According to a 2016 Pew Research Center poll, about six in 10 Americans say the U.S. needs more changes to achieve racial equality– and 40 percent of blacks were unsure the nation will ever make these changes.

While discrimination against minority groups, including racial minorities, continues to be an issue, some states have achieved more equality than others through legislation, a culture of inclusion and other factors.

In its 2018 Best States rankings, U.S. News & World Report determined which states have the most equality, based on measures including education gap by race, employment gap by race and employment gap by gender.

Residents in these 10 states have the most equal chance of receiving an education and employment, regardless of their race, gender or disability status.

10. Hawaii

Hawaii has one of the lowest gender employment gaps, with 60.5 percent of women and 70.8 percent of men participating in the labor force.

9. Delaware

Delaware has one of the greatest equality in employment by gender, but performs poorly for its disability employment gap. The unemployment rate for the disabled population in the state is 15.8 percent, far higher than the 5.5 percent for those without a disability.

8. Florida

Florida boasts the third-lowest income gap by gender. The median salary for women in the Sunshine State is $36,112, while men earn a median of $41,586.

7. Nevada

Nevada has the most equality in the nation for disability employment. Though people with a disability in the state are still 1.86 times as likely to be unemployed as those who are not disabled, that gap is still far lower than the national average of 2.37.

6. Kentucky

Kentucky is among states with the greatest equality in the U.S. for income by race. Still, non-Hispanic whites in the state earned 34 percent more than minorities did in 2016.

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5. New York

New York has the lowest income gap by gender, with women earning nearly 90 percent of what men made in 2016.

4. West Virginia

The state places No. 1 for lowest education gap by race, with 25 percent of minorities holding a bachelor's degree or higher, compared to 21 percent of non-Hispanic whites.

3. Maryland

In Maryland, non-Hispanic whites earned a median salary of $46,710 in 2016, compared to $30,150 for minorities. Though the gap is still wide, it is one of the lowest in the U.S.

2. Vermont

In Vermont, the percentage of males and females employed or looking for work is more equal than in any other state. Sixty-two percent of females and 68 percent of males participated in the labor force in 2016.

1. New Hampshire

New Hampshire places in the top for a few equality metrics, including equality of education based on race. More minorities hold a bachelor's degree (38 percent) in the state than non-Hispanic whites (37 percent).

Learn More About Best States

Don't see your state here? See the full list of the 2018 Best States and explore how states did in areas like health care, education and opportunity.

Copyright 2017 U.S. News & World Report