The United States finished among the bottom 10 countries for racial equality in the 2021 Best Countries report, a collection of new rankings and analyses that reflects how countries have elevated the importance of addressing racial inequities.
The racial equality ranking for countries was developed using the racial equity score a country received and connecting it to the more than 17,000 survey respondents in the Best Countries survey who agreed moderately or strongly to the statement that "A country is stronger when It is more racially and ethnically diverse." The Netherlands, Canada and New Zealand are seen as the top three countries, respectively, for racial equality.
Of the 78 countries assessed in the 2021 Best Countries report, the U.S. ranked 69th, or the 10th worst, for racial equality, finishing lower than China, a country the international community has condemned and imposed sanctions over its treatment of its Muslim Uyghur population. In November 2020 the FBI announced that hate crimes in the U.S. had risen to their highest levels in more than a decade.
A poll released in October 2020 by the nonpartisan Pew Research Center showed Americans are about evenly split over whether the increased focus on race and racial inequality will lead to major policy changes that address racial inequities. That same study showed a far greater proportion of Black respondents said they have been paying more attention to issues of race and racial inequality than white respondents.
Below are the 10 countries ranked as the worst for racial equality.
Kevin Drew is the assistant managing editor for international news. He helped develop and launch Best Countries for U.S. News & World Report in 2016. He has worked in Asia, Europe and the U.S. for The New York Times, CNN, The Associated Press and other news organizations. He has reported from Africa, the Middle East and conflict zones such as Myanmar and the Balkans. He is a recipient of a DuPont Award for Excellence in Journalism for CNN's digital coverage of the South Asian tsunami, and a Peabody Award for CNN's coverage of Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Follow him on Twitter.