We often hear the statement that black and white Americans live in starkly different realities. Black Americans confront myriad obstacles in their everyday lives and have lower quality of life, on average, as result. In a new inforgraphic, The Economist treats that statement literally and ranks quality of life for black Americans and white Americans against other countries around the globe, as though there actually were two different countries: one white and one black.
The results are striking, if not surprising. The infant mortality rate for black Americans puts them somewhere in the middle of the pack worldwide, in between Thailand and China. Black Americans can assume they’ll live to 75, as do Libyans, Turks, and Serbians; white Americans live to 79 on average.
The starkest contrast comes when looking at homicides and incarcerations per capita. The United States is already the leading jailer in the world, with 707 people in prison per 100,000, ahead of Cuba, Rwanda, Turkmenistan. The closest competitor to the USA in incarceration is Barbados, which only manages to put 529 people in prison for every 100,000 citizens.
But separate out those figures for black and white America, and black America has far and away more people in jail: 2,207 per 100,000–or 2.2% of the entire black American population. White America still has way more people in prison than makes any sense compared to the rest of the world, with 380 per 100,000. But it’s nothing compared to the incarceration rate in black America.
While the incarceration rates for the U.S. across the board are horrendous, white America is a fairly safe place to live with 2.5 homicides per 100,000, while black America has 18.2, making black America as deadly as Haiti and Iraq–combined.
You can view the full interactive infographic at The Economist.