Discrimination is common nationwide—and even more so for Black, Indigenous, Latinx and Asian Minnesotans

by CRAIG HELMSTETTER | Oct. 28, 2021

Minnesota is home to some of the nation’s worst race-based disparities in employment and homeownership—and it is where George Floyd was murdered at the hands of police, sparking a national reckoning. Could that be because discrimination is worse in Minnesota?

According to one recent survey the answer is: Quite possibly, yes.

While Minnesota is a highly-educated and relatively left-leaning state, the APM Research Lab’s recent Minnesota’s Diverse Communities Survey suggests that some forms of discrimination may be even more prevalent in the “star of the north” than in the U.S. as a whole.

We may not have a perfect “Honeycrisp apples to Honeycrisp apples” comparison of discrimination in Minnesota versus the rest of the nation, but we are at least able to compare very similar varietals. In 2017, Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health Teamed up with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and National Public Radio to conduct a major survey titled Discrimination in America.

The Minnesota’s Diverse Communities Survey replicates several questions from the Harvard/RWJF/NPR survey, albeit within the context of a different questionnaire—and after a four-year time lag. Data collection for both studies was done by SSRS of Glen Mills Pennsylvania, with the national study relying on telephone interviews and the Minnesota survey relying largely on address-based sampling involving targeted mailings that encouraged people to use a unique login to fill out a survey online.

The major takeaway from comparing the two studies: In no case across 32 comparisons were rates of discrimination significantly lower in Minnesota than the U.S. at large. In fact, in 15 of the comparisons, discrimination appears to be even more common in Minnesota than the already high rates observed nationally.

The comparisons include four questions concerning the perception of racial and ethnic discrimination and another four questions about personal experiences with racial and ethnic discrimination, asked of representative samples of four different populations: Black, Indigenous, Latinx and Asian adults.

All of the comparisons are detailed in the appendix below, but notable findings include:

Proportion of Black adults reporting personally experiencing racial discrimination when applying for jobs: 56% nationally and 70% in Minnesota.

Proportion of Indigenous adults reporting personally experiencing racial discrimination when trying to secure housing: 17% nationally and 50% in Minnesota.

Proportion of Latinx adults who believe that the police discriminate against the Latinx population: 60% nationally and 77% in Minnesota.

Proportion of Asian adults who believe that discrimination against Asians exists in the housing market: 29% nationally and 50% in Minnesota

This content was originally published here.

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