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ST. LOUIS (AP) — A new study has found a wide gap in economic and health indicators when it comes to race in the St. Louis area.
The report, called Where We Stand, was completed by the East-West Gateway Council of Governments and was based on 2012 measures, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported (http://bit.ly/1rlVWHL ).
It found the median household income was about $59,000 for whites and about $30,500 for blacks. A black infant was 3.6 times more likely than a white one to die in the first year of life. The report also said blacks were more than twice as likely than whites to have no health coverage.
"The story has not changed much over the past 20 years," said Mary Rocchio, lead author of the report and manager of policy research at East-West Gateway. "Consistently, we have seen that there are differences between the opportunities and outcomes between the ways blacks and whites experience life in our region as well as in the United States as a whole."
The report's authors emphasized Wednesday that their research was underway well before protests over a black teenager's fatal shooting by a white Ferguson police officer last month. But considering the events in Ferguson, the organization's board members agreed that the findings on race were timely.
"When you have a huge part of our population — the black community, African-Americans and other people of color — who are not doing as well as white, Caucasian counterparts, that's an issue that is important to everybody around this table," St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay said during the group's meeting.
East St. Louis Mayor Alvin Parks noted there are communities who have a high black population whose police don't reflect that group.
"When you are importing police and importing other public employees into a community without a real understanding of the needs of the community and without any kind of racial reflection of what the community looks like, that quite frankly is a problem that is just waiting to happen," he said.
Information from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, http://www.stltoday.com
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