It is widely known that economic disparities between white people and people of color exist in every city in the United States. In this blog, we will explore the current contours of economic opportunities in the five boroughs (Prince George's, Montgomery, Arlington, Alexandria, Fairfax) and Washington, DC. Metropolitan area, better known as DMV. Our research revealed that within these five counties and in Washington, DC., there are the largest negative racial disparities in life expectancy, income, unemployment, and poverty.
Black residents in DC are located east of the Anacostia River and are communities inherited in red. It is evident that policymakers have an opportunity to do more to support the economic and overall well-being of residents living in these communities. We also found that Prince George's County has the highest rate of black homeownership among the jurisdictions analyzed. Homeownership depends on a complex set of factors, but it is clear that Prince George's County offers some important lessons about homeownership for black people that could serve as the basis for other efforts to increase the wealth of communities of color throughout the DMV.
While we found that Latinos experienced the greatest negative disparities in education in all of the jurisdictions analyzed, Washington, D. C. has the highest high school graduation rate among Latinos. This is promising, so it would be valuable to understand what is driving this trend in Washington, DC.
We also found that in Arlington County, Asians experienced disproportionately high poverty rates, of 20.5%. It is important to consider these nuances and for policymakers to address and provide opportunities for cross-fertilization of policy approaches throughout the DMV. Local policymakers should focus on promoting opportunities for higher incomes, homeownership rates, educational opportunities and environments, and services that promote better health and wellness outcomes. In this report, I analyze why economic integration in neighborhoods and schools might be important in the first place.
I then provide a broader context about the Montgomery County school district and the housing policies in question, and I briefly describe the methods with which I compare the school outcomes of children in public housing. Next, I presented the results of the study describing the influence of school poverty (measured with two different metrics) and neighborhood poverty on children's math and reading outcomes. The positive slope of the average math performance of children in public housing in low-poverty schools indicates that public housing students from the least poor schools reached the average of their non-poor district peers throughout elementary school. Keep in mind that the test scoring scale is constructed so that 50 was the average math score in Montgomery County, regardless of grade level or elementary year.
However, over time, children living in public housing in the district's low-poverty schools began to match their non-math poor district peers; by the end of elementary school, the math achievement gap was reduced by half, going from an initial disparity of 17 points to 8 points. By contrast, the achievement gap between the average district peer (non-poor) children and the average child in public housing in the district's poorest elementary schools remained constant. In terms of reading scores, on the other hand, only with the low poverty rate of 20 percent or less did children in public housing outperform their peers in public housing who attended schools with the highest poverty. b> p>, it is clear that there are significant differences between different demographic groups when it comes to key issues and policies within Montgomery County. To anticipate a more extensive discussion below, Montgomery County has adopted a mechanism known as inclusive zoning.
This zoning policy requires that real estate developers in all housing subdivisions with thirty-five or more homes set aside 12 to 15 percent of the homes for sale or rent at below-market prices. The housing authority has acquired some seven hundred scattered public housing units as a result of this policy. It is essential for local policymakers to focus on providing opportunities for higher incomes, homeownership rates, educational opportunities and environments, and services that promote better health and wellness outcomes for all residents living within Montgomery County. This includes understanding what is driving trends such as high school graduation rates among Latinos in Washington D.
C., as well as addressing disproportionately high poverty rates among Asians in Arlington County. By doing so, local policymakers can help reduce economic disparities between different demographic groups.