Urban Institute researchers examine gender inequalities, racial segregation, and the mutually reinforcing disparities they cause in education, housing, employment, income, and health care.
Our experts analyze race and gender gaps in student test scores, measure unequal treatment toward minorities in the housing market, and study the persistent discrimination that feeds wealth and income gaps. We also probe the unique challenges of single mothers, noncustodial fathers, and hard-to-employ young men—and evaluate the public and private programs designed to help them.
During the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, The Data Center developed the New Orleans Index to track storm recovery. Since then, the Index has expanded to cover a wide variety of indicators that chart long-term growth and progress in New Orleans. Indicators include job growth, employment, entrepreneurship, workforce development, incarceration, minority-owned businesses, and poverty. This article describes how the Index was developed and the ways it has been used to frame specific policy discussions about employment inequality in New Orleans.
The federal prison population has grown by 750 percent since 1980, resulting in rapidly increasing expenditures for incarceration and dangerous overcrowding. In response, Congress created the Charles Colson Task Force on Federal Corrections to examine trends in correctional growth and develop practical, data-driven policy responses. Following the example of many states that have recently engaged in criminal justice reform, the first step for the Task Force is to understand the underlying drivers of growth in the prison population.
Recent trends in death rates among US women ages 15 to 54 reveal that rates among non-Hispanic whites are rising for many causes of death. These rising causes include accidental poisoning (linked to the epidemic of prescription opioids), suicide, and obesity- and smoking-related diseases. Specific changes in behavior might reduce some of these death rates, but the range of rising causes of death among white women suggests a need for a broader perspective on the social determinants of health. Unhealthy behaviors often arise and persist within certain social and economic contexts, and such behaviors resist improvement or are replaced by other unhealthy behaviors unless those contexts change.
Based on interviews with 283 youth in New York City, this is the first study to focus on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer or questioning (LGBTQ) youth; young men who have sex with men (YMSM); and young women who have sex with women (YWSW) who get involved in the commercial sex market in order to meet basic survival needs, such as food or shelter. The report documents these youth’s experiences and characteristics to gain a better understanding of why they engage in survival sex, describes how the support networks and systems in their lives have both helped them and let them down, and makes recommendations for better meeting the needs of this vulnerable population.
This brief uses the Social Genome Model to assess the potential impact of various childhood and adolescent interventions on long-term outcomes for black men. In particular, we see that increasing parental emotional support and cognitive stimulation during early childhood and raising reading ability levels in mid-childhood have the greatest impact on later life educational attainment and income. The overall effects of successful interventions are modest for the entire population of black men but are somewhat larger for individuals that would be directly affected by the interventions. Our findings suggest that making substantial progress in improving the outcomes of black men will likely require many different interventions that reinforce one another throughout the life course.