States with the most racial progress for 2018

A WalletHub report

January 15th marks Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. For decades, Americans have honored the remarkable life and passionate work of Dr. King and all he stood for. Hope and change for a better tomorrow and racial equality for all was his mission, and in many respects, progress has been made when it comes to the Civil Rights Movement.

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That said, depending upon who you ask, the movement towards racial equality has not reached the finish line. As per the personal finance website, WalletHub, "According to a survey by the Pew Research Center, 92 percent of blacks said that whites benefit a great deal or a fair amount from advantages that blacks do not have. In contrast, only 46 percent of whites agreed with that statement."

And based on where in the country people live, the level of racial inequality varies, as brought to attention by a recent WalletHub report – "2018's States with the Most Racial Progress" which measured "America's progress in harmonizing racial groups."

Using three key dimensions, WalletHub's team of experts compared all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. Employment and wealth, education and civic engagement, and health were reviewed and broken down into 23 specific metrics of integration and equality which were weighted using WalletHub's unique methodology. Some of the metrics considered include median annual income gap, labor-force participation rate gap, unemployment rate gap, homeownership rate gap, poverty rate gap, business ownership rate gap, gap in percentage of adults with at least a high school diploma, gap in percentage of adults with at least a bachelor's degree, standardized test scores gap, voter turnout gap, infant mortality rate gap, poverty rate gap, and more between whites and blacks.

Once these metrics were assessed, WalletHub's experts complied two lists of state rankings: 1. Most Racially-Integrated States, and 2. States with the Most Racial Progress. So, which states came out on top?

As for the Most Racially-Integrated States, the top 10 are as follows (#1 being the most racially-integrated):

1.Hawaii
2.New Mexico
3.Kentucky
4.Arizona
5.Texas
6.Wyoming
7.West Virginia
8.Maryland
9.Nevada
10.Delaware

Where progress is being made most is found in the following 10 states (#1 has the most racial progress as per WalletHub's report):

1.Wyoming
2.Texas
3.Georgia
4.New Mexico
5.Maryland
6.California
7.Mississippi
8.Arkansas
9.New Jersey
10.Alabama

It is no surprise that some of the top 10 states are prominent on both lists, with integration and progress feeding off and benefiting from one another. With the efforts of everyone from politicians to the average gal or guy down the street, more improvements will be made throughout the country, closing the gaps still found throughout the country. According to CNN, "An overwhelming 88% of blacks say the country needs to keep making changes for blacks to have equal rights with whites. Polls show Hispanics and other races also perceive more racism in the United States. A small majority (53%) of whites agree with them, according to a Pew Research survey from last June."

Dr. King's "I Have a Dream" speech in which, "he calls for an end to racism in the United States and called for civil and economic rights" was delivered to over 250,000 civil rights supporters from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. in 1963. Many people would agree that a great deal of advancement has come about since that powerful moment in history, but as per the data, there is so much more room for improvement – here in America and worldwide.

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Perhaps WalletHub's 2019 review on this same topic will show greater progress towards racial integration and equality. May the actions of Dr. King and his supporters never be forgotten, and may his dream, "…that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character," be a reality for us all.

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For more information about this racial progress WalletHub analysis, the full rankings, and insight on their reporting methodology, please see the entire report.

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Finally, we are done with 2020! Between all the highs and lows, it felt like 5 years packed into one, so I'm excited to start fresh in 2021. I'm taking my New Year's resolutions to the next level: cook more, read more, and get back to things I truly love like arts & crafts and morning runs (okay, most likely walks).

Honestly, I could go on forever about the new year, new me thing but actually getting started is my biggest hurdle. I realized that my motivation comes from my mood which directly relates to my environment … and for the past year, my house has been my habitat. So, it's not looking too great after all the wear and tear. The dirt and the mess have accumulated right under my nose.

It's not that I'm bad at it, I just feel so overwhelmed. When my house is clean, I feel much more in control and motivated, and right now it's far from it. When I was venting about my cleaning woes the other day, my friend recommended Handy.

Handy allows you to book local professional cleaners and sign up for monthly, bi-weekly, or weekly plans. Plus, you can schedule appointments at a time that works for you with availability 7 days a week from 7am-11pm. So to get me in the right headspace to tackle my goals, I'm going to be signing up for Handy. I'm looking forward to letting the experts take over.

Although having people in your home may sound a bit strange right now, Handy has rolled out the Handy Safety Standard to help promote the health and safety of the customers and professionals who use their platform. Some of these measures include requiring Pros to wear face coverings during bookings and mandatory daily in-app check-ups to verify they are in good health before claiming a booking. They even have a section on their site dedicated to keeping customers and professionals updated on the latest CDC health and safety guidance.

To top everything off, all of the Cleaning Pros booked through Handy are vetted and background checked. And you can even check out each Pro's ratings and reviews before you book.

Once my house is in order, the fresh feeling will have a domino effect on so many other areas of my life:

✔ Read More

Lying on my cozy couch without inhaling all the dust I'd chosen to ignore, despite my clear uptick in sneezing the last few months. My reading list is chock-full of thrillers and fantasy. And with my new clean slate, I've even added some books about organization.

✔ Get Cooking

Nothing makes cooking more enjoyable than a sparkling kitchen. I'm inspired by a clean space and all the new recipes I'll be whipping up in 2021 already have me drooling.

✔ More Exercise (aka walking!)

I won't feel guilty getting out for a walk on-the-daily when I know I'm not neglecting any household chores thanks to Handy. And when I come home I'm not greeted by any reminders to clean.

You can specify exactly what you want to be cleaned before your Pro arrives and if you like them, you can request to have the same Pro come every time. I can already imagine how exciting it will be to walk into my spotless space.

I cannot wait to book my cleaning through Handy so I can get my 2021 resolutions rolling. My New Year is all about my wellness and my environment plays such a big part in it. I'm signing up for bi-weekly appointments. But their plans are super flexible and if I need, I can always change to a weekly or monthly cleaning plan — sometimes they even have bookings available as soon as the next day!

With Handy, I'm leaving that rough 2020 in the dust and jumping into 2021 feeling fresh and ready-to-go.

Update: Handy is offering a limited time discount for our readers! Follow this link today to get a special offer on your first time cleaning plan.

This perfect low-key vacation is not your average camping experience.

Locations

Atlanta, Austin & San Antonio, Boston, Charlotte & Raleigh, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Pittsburgh & Cleveland, Portland, and Washington, DC.

Getaway's outposts are a maximum 2-hour drive from these major cities.

getaway cabin all seasons

Why Getaway?

It's an escape for the always on. Leave your work, technology and worries at home, and lean into an experience that allows you to reconnect and center yourself in nature.

Each cabin features 1 (or 2) queen-sized bed as well as a full indoor bathroom, both heat and a/c, and reliable electricity. The kitchen is stocked with food staples and cookware and there is a fire pit and outdoor seating. All cabins are family-friendly and dogs are permitted.

getaway essentials

Booking & Price

Book through the Getaway site. Cabins fit 1 - 4 guests and cost as low as $129 a night.

Safety

Cabins are already distanced (50-150' feet apart) from one another and go through a deep disinfection process between guest stays. Check-in is contactless, and each guest accesses their cabins through a personalized key code.

getaway activities

UPDATE: Plan Your Winter Escape Today With Getaway! Take $20 Off Your Stay With Code Winter20!

Given the nature of the pandemic, it can be tough to find the best ways to spend the usual festivities that New Year's Eve brings.

Luckily, if you're comfortable enough to step outside for the occasion, there are great places still open and worth visiting. Although you should always keep COVID-19 safety precautions in mind, here are three of the most stunning places to spend Near Year's Eve in the U.S.

New York City (New York)

No guide to stunning places to spend New Year's Eve in the U.S. would be complete without the presence of New York City, New York. The Times Square ball drop is a must-see annual event, though this year it will be a bit different due to the pandemic. Thankfully, the city will still be throwing an event for all to enjoy that will keep social distancing in mind and focus on bringing people together virtually.

While there might be live events for some to enjoy, none have been officially announced just yet. Even if you're enjoying the festivities virtually, there are few better places to spend this special occasion than at the tip of the NYC skyline.

New York City New Years Eve New York City New Years EveForbes

Lake Travis (Texas)

Lake Travis is a brilliant body of water in Texas that provides a versatile collection of ways to enjoy its beauty. If you'd prefer to keep your party secluded due to the pandemic, you can enjoy the evening on a boat in the waters of this lake, which is home to the famous "Devil's Cove" party destination.

If you're comfortable spending the evening in a venue that practices COVID-19 safety precautions, consider relaxing on one of the three decks on display at The Oasis. Even if you don't stick around to ring in the New Year, viewing the sunset from The Oasis is an incredible experience in itself.

Lake Travs Lake Travislaketravis.com

Cape Cod (Massachusetts)

If you're looking for a quainter way to ring in the new year, consider visiting Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Aside from the cool weather and stunning scenery, when spending New Year's Eve in Cape Cod you can visit places such as the Belfry Inn & Bistro. This lovely location has a focus on good dining, stylish and comfortable living, and COVID-19 safety, all of which they put on display via their website.

If you'd prefer not to spend too much time in a restaurant or bar, you can indulge in the incredible appearance of areas like Martha's Vineyard or Nantucket. Simply wandering around the area and taking in the scenery before enjoying an intimate evening inside makes for an unforgettable adventure.

Cape Cod New Years Eve Cape Cod New Years Evebluegreenvacations.com

Due to the ever-changing nature of certain venues during the pandemic, be sure to regularly check-up on any venues you wish to visit. That way, you can remain in the loop on their availability, activities, and safety precautions upon arrival.