The Well-Being of America: A New Report from the American Human Development Project

The Measure of AmericaThe American Human Development Project (AHDP), whose Measure of America offered an index of well-being for Americans offers recently presented an update to their earlier findings.

In their report, A Century Apart, The AHDP looks at life expectancy, educational attainment, income and other factors to determine the well-being of various ethnic and racial groups in the United States. The results?

According to “A Century Apart,” Asian Americans in New Jersey, with the highest Index scores, experience levels of well-being that, if current trends continue, the country as a whole will reach in about fifty years. At the other end of the spectrum, Native Americans in South Dakota lag more than a half-century behind the rest of the nation in terms of health, education, and income. Asian Americans in New Jersey live, on average, an astonishing 26 years longer, are 11 times more likely to have a graduate degree, and earn $35,610 more per year than South Dakota Native Americans.

From a Wall Street Journal article on the report:

Across the 50 states and the District of Columbia, Asian Americans were worst off in Louisiana. Their New Jersey counterparts lived an average of nine years longer and earned more than twice that of Asian Americans in Louisiana. Meanwhile, Native Americans were better off in California than in any other state.

Washington, D.C. offered the highest level of human development among whites. Whites in D.C. live about seven years longer, earn more than twice the annual wages, and are five times more likely to have completed college than their West Virginia counterparts, the state where whites’ well-being was ranked the lowest.

African Americans fared best in Maryland and worst in Louisiana. Those in Maryland lived 3.5 years longer, were more than twice as likely to earn a graduate degree and had salaries that were nearly $16,000 per year higher than those living in Louisiana.

Latinos living in New Jersey had the highest levels of well-being for any state in regards to their ethnic group. They lived eight years longer and made $7,000 more annually than Latinos living in Alabama, where Latino well-being ranked lowest.

Nationwide, Asian Americans scored the highest — 7.5 – on a scale of zero to 10 versus Native Americans who scored 3.2, the lowest among the ethnic groups included. Whites, Latinos and African Americans came in second through fourth, ranked highest to lowest.

Here are some other findings from the report:

* Asian Americans live the longest (86.6 years), followed by Latinos (82.8 years);

* African American life expectancy today is on par with that of the average American three decades ago

* In no U.S. states do African Americans, Latinos, or Native Americans earn more than Asian Americans or whites;

* Asian Americans and whites earn the most; Latinos and Native Americans earn the least. Native Americans’ median earnings are less than $22,000, while whites’ are more than $30,000

* Nearly one in five Asian American adults has a graduate degree

* Latinos lag in education; nearly four in ten adults age 25 and older did not complete high school;

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