In the 2008 presidential election, whites in Louisiana voted for Republican John McCain over Democrat Barack Obama by a margin of 84%-14%. Meanwhile, blacks voted for Obama over McCain by a margin of 94%-4%.
There is huge divide between blacks and whites in Louisiana. And it’s not just political.
A recent report titled A Portrait of LOUISIANA: Louisiana Human Development Report 2009 shows wide disparities in income, education, and life expectancy between blacks and whites in the state. The report is a product of the Louisiana Disaster Recovery Foundation, the Foundation for the Mid South, Oxfam America, and the American Human Development Project, which did the research and wrote the report.
The findings of the report include:
• Median personal earnings for whites in Louisiana average $28,912, which is slightly above the national average. For African Americans, earnings are $17,010, comparable to U.S. median earnings in the mid- 1960s.
• Nearly one in three African American adults age 25 and over in Louisiana has not graduated from high school. (!!!)
• African Americans in Louisiana are less than half as likely to have completed college than their white counterparts.
• The average life span for African Americans in Louisiana today (72.2 years) is shorter than that of many developing nations, including Colombians, Vietnamese and Venezuela.
• The average life span of an African American in New Orleans is 69.3 years, nearly as low as life expectancy in North Korea, while the life expectancy for a white person is 79.6 years.
• Whites in Louisiana earning the least have wages and salaries on par with African Americans earning the most.
• Louisiana African American women have wages and salaries typical of those that prevailed in the U.S. in the 1950s.
• An African-American baby boy born today in Louisiana can expect to live 68.1 years, a life span shorter than that of the average American in 1960 and on par with that of men in Azerbaijan, Egypt and Jamaica today.
The economic disparity between blacks and whites in the state is illustrated by the following chart, which shows the percentage of Louisiana families that fall within various income groups.
State of Louisiana – Family Income of Whites and African Americans, 2007
In Louisiana, nearly 25 percent of white families percent have incomes of $100,000 or more, while about 7 percent have incomes below $15,000. The exact opposite is the case for African Americans.
Source: A Portrait Of Louisiana: Louisiana Human Development Report 2009