If Black America were a country

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The Economist has put together this astonishing infographic:

What you're looking at here is a chart showing how "Black America" and "White America," if they were countries in their own right, would rank in terms of incarceration and mortality.  For instance, the USA's total homicide rate is pretty bad, at 4.5 murders per 100,000 people. That's right between Ukraine and Niger. But for white Americans, the murder rate is much lower, at just 2.5 per 100,000. That's not far off Norway's 2.2.

"Black America," on the other hand, is just astonishingly bad, with 18.2 murders per 100,000 people. That's worse than Haiti, worse than the Central African Republic, and more than double the rate of Kazakhstan or even Iraq.


A look at infant mortality, a key indicator of development, is just as grim. Iceland has 1.6 deaths per 1,000 births; South Korea has 3.2. "White America" is pretty bad — by developed-country standards — with 5.1 deaths per 1,000 births. But "Black America," again, is much, much worse: at 11.2 deaths per 1,000 births, it's worse than Romania or China.

The chart also shows how black Americans are incarcerated at a rate which boggles the mind: There is simply no other country that comes close to its 2,207 per 100,000 people number. That's three times the rate of the worst country in the world —the USA — and almost 50 times the rate of Iceland.


If you click on the "OECD" button on the Economist's interactive, you'll see, in blue, the 34 sovereign members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development — the group of the world's developed nations. The United States sits towards the bottom of the group, on the chart's indicators. But "Black America", if it really were an independent country, might well not be accepted into the OECD at all.