Study Finds that Wisconsin, Mississippi and Michigan are the Worst States to Raise Black Children; Full Top 10 List Inside


Let me start by saying this list has sparked a lot of discussion and some controversy. The list of best and worst states to raise black children is from an Annie e Casey Foundation study done in March called “Race for Results”. The study analyzed the outcomes of black children in American states according to 12 quality of life indicators;

Babies born at normal birthweight
Children ages 3 to 5 enrolled in nursery school, preschool or kindergarten
Fourth graders who scored at or above proficient in reading
Eighth graders who scored at or above proficient in math
High school students graduating on time
Females ages 15 to 19 who delay childbearing until adulthood
Young adults ages 19 to 26 who are in school or working
Young adults ages 25 to 29 who have completed an associate’s degree or higher
Children who live in two-parent families
Children who live with a householder who has at least a high school diploma
Children who live in families with incomes at or above 200% of poverty
Children who live in low-poverty areas (poverty <20%) Based on these indicators, they found these states to be the worst for raising black children (starting with the worst) 1. Wisconsin 2. Mississippi 3. Michigan 4. Louisiana 5. Arkansas 6. Ohio 7. Alabama 8. Indiana 9. South Carolina 10. Illinois The best 10 states (starting with the best) are 1. Hawaii 2. New Hampshire 3. Utah 4. Alaska 5. Massachusetts 6. Maryland 7. North Dakota 8. South Dakota 9. New Jersey 10. Maine The middle 10 states (numbers 20 to 30), starting with the best are 1. Texas 2. New York 3. Rhode Island 4. Georgia 5. Minnesota 6. West Virginia 7. Kansas 8. North Carolina 9. Florida 10. Nebraska You can view the full report here. It’s a good read and the section on African American kids is not too long. And you can find the full listing of states on page 13.

Ladies, do you live in any of the states listed? What is your take? I’d love to hear your thoughts!


About Leila

Leila is the founding editor of Baby and Blog. She splits her time between editing hair and culture site, Black Girl with Long Hair, whipping up butters at BGLH Marketplace, and writing here. She adores her husband and two kids, her parents and her friends. But she hates Chicago weather although she is slowly coming to peace with it...

  • Puff

    Ok well, They should have taken into account population: Utah? Alaska? North Dakota!? Want to know the Black population in Utah? About 1%. Not taking population into account was a huge flaw in this study.

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    • juanicole617

      I figured they would look into the population as well. Just makes sense as far as comparison goes.

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  • nappygirl

    Wow. My husband and I grew up in Chicago during the 60’s and graduated college in the 70’s. If not up on your history Chicago was and still is one of the most segregated cities in the “North.” But our folks managed to make sure we got the best education we could.

    My husband and I raised our kids in Missouri and Kansas. Now that was some unusual race stuff there. We did have to go up to their schools and set some things straight. But the kids did well and now have Master’s Degrees.
    We did a stint in Michigan and New Jersey. I must say some crazy went down there too. Again our presence in the schools made the difference.

    Suffice it to say, as African Americans to quote Ice Cube in Higher Learning, we live behind enemy lines in this country. That does not mean we can’t get the best out of what is presented to us. It may be harder for us, but that just means once we get what we need and want, it is all the more sweeter.

    As parents we must be diligent and vigilant. We must teach our children to do all things with purpose and excellence. God honors this and the proof is in the pudding.

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  • jus’ me

    I’m from Wisconsin, and yes, it is horrible. I should never have come back after college. Black people are demonized here (crowded mostly into Milwaukee, which is portrayed as a warzone), and you have to pull a constant “Buffalo Soldier” routine to prove that you’re worthy of even the worst jobs. Wisconsin also has the highest rate of Black male incarceration in the U.S. (same crime gets a higher sentence if you’re black) so it’s hell on he family structure. I wasted nearly two decades of my life here. It makes me sick. I’m leaving in a year, if it’s the last thing I do.

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  • WaterBaby

    I would’ve thought Florida would be one of the worse and I’m born, raised, and still here.

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  • Lanaya

    And DE???? I know we’re small but we were the first state…

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  • Lai-Lai

    The 10 worst states match up with the list of worst places for any living human to live. They all the the most cities with the most boarded up condemned caved-in houses, rubble, empty lots, street trash, sidewalks upturned & crumbled by nature. Not many buildings seem to be newer than the 60s, & must have obscenely high poverty rates.

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