Ani Turner and Beth Beaudin-Seiler for Altarum and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation
First published May 2018
By 2050, Michigan stands to realize a $92 billion gain in economic output by closing the racial equity gap. “Closing the gap” means lessening, and ultimately eliminating, disparities and opportunity differentials that limit the human potential and the economic contributions of people of color.
This report makes a compelling economic argument for the social justice imperative of racial equity. Beyond an increase in economic output, advancing racial equity can translate into meaningful increases in consumer spending and tax revenues, and decreases in social services spending and health-related costs. For example, in consumer spending alone, closing the racial equity gap in Michigan would generate an additional $1.5 billion in spending on food, $4 billion on housing, $423 million on apparel, $2 billion on automobiles and transportation, and $625 million on entertainment each year. An additional $1.5 billion would be generated in state and local tax revenues.
The potential economic and social gains are significant. By 2050, 40% of the workforce and consumers in Michigan will be people of color. To create the qualified workforce and economic climate that will position the state for the future, businesses and policymakers must look to the potential of all Michiganders and take deliberate, realistic, and proven measures to enable the full participation of all.