Key Findings: Equity in Action & Equity at a Glance
The Virginia Department of Health recently released two new dashboards focused on equity. One highlighting the programs and initiatives that have advanced equity during COVID-19 and the other as an assessment into the social determinants of health and equity across Virginia. To learn more about the background of these two dashboards, check out our previous blog The Virginia Department of Health releases two new Dashboards: Equity in Action & Equity at a Glance.
The dashboard Equity in Action summarizes indicators that show the progress Virginia has made in COVID-19 response and recovery programs and other initiatives that advance the equitable distribution of resources and services. The highlights from this dashboard are listed below:
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Partnerships: This area indicates the total number of masks and units of hand sanitizer distributed by the Health Equity Leadership Taskforce. Since March 2020, Virginia has distributed 1.9 million units of PPE.
Medicaid Expansion: This section indicates the net change in overall Medicaid program membership from January 2020 to May 2021. Before Medicaid expansion, 62 percent of Virginians surveyed were without care. Since January 2020, the Medicaid Expansion program has had a net change in enrollment of 168,400 members. From April 2021 to May 2021, there was a net change in enrollment of 8,900 members.
Unemployment Benefits: Represents the total amount of unemployment benefits funding provided from January 2020 to March 2021 for both initial and continued claims. Since January 2020, Virginia has provided $6.4 billion in unemployment benefits funding. In March 2021:
- The unemployment rate for Virginia was 5.1 percent
- 62,000 state unemployment benefits were provided
- 96,000 initial unemployment claims (in which individuals request unemployment insurance aid for the first time) were issued
- $156 million worth of continued unemployment claims were issued
Food Distribution: This is the total number of meals distributed through various programs across Virginia. Since March 2020, 131.1 million meals have been distributed. This page also includes data on the total meals distributed, Summer Food Service Program meals, School Nutrition Program meals, and Child & Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) meals per locality in Virginia.
Small Women and Minority Owned (SWaM) Business Support: This section shows the total number of small businesses in low income communities approved to receive funding through the Rebuild VA Fund. Since this grant started in August 2020, 1,313 small businesses have received funding out of a total of 11,700 SWaM certified businesses in Virginia. $59 million of Rebuild VA funds has been distributed to these SWaM businesses.
The dashboard Equity at a Glance summarizes how Virginia ranks for six health equity areas including: income and poverty, educational attainment, food access, unemployment, broadband access, and housing insecurity. The summary of findings for Virginia are below:
For these metrics, the closer Virginia is to 1st, the better the state is doing compared to other states. Virginia is:
- 10th in the nation for income and poverty, 10.6 percent of the population lives in poverty.
- 28th in the nation for educational attainment, 89.7 percent of adults attain a High School diploma.
- 11th in the nation for food access, 18.1 percent of the population has low access to food.
- 23rd in the nation for unemployment, 5.1 percent of the labor force is unemployed.
- 17th in the nation for broadband access, 83.9 percent of households have access to broadband.
- 25th in the nation for housing insecurity, 12.5 percent of households spend over half of their income on housing.
Income and Poverty
- Virginia’s median household income is $74,222, above the national median income of $62,843.
- 865,691 Virginia residents live in poverty (10.6 percent of the population).
- 1.26 million Virginia residents or 39.8 percent of households are below the ALICE threshold which includes households with income above the Federal Poverty Level but below the basic cost of living.
- In Virginia, the average annual income per person is $39.3K. When we look by race, Hispanic ($25.8K) and Black ($28K) people make below the average annual income (White: $45K; Asian: $45.3K).
- Although Virginia is ranked 28th amongst all states in percent of adults with a high school diploma, rates in Virginia were better compared to the national average (Virginia: 89.7 percent; national average: 87.9 percent).
- Virginia also has higher rates of Bachelor degree or higher education level compared to the national average. (Virginia: 35.6 percent; national average: 29.6 percent).
- The reported SOL pass rate by race/ethnicity indicates that Asian students have a pass rate of 92 percent, White students have a pass rate of 86.4 percent, Hispanic or Latino students have a pass rate of 69.8 percent, and Black or African American students have a pass rate of 65.8 percent.
- 1.44 million people in Virginia have low access to food (18.1 percent of the population).
- 356,373 children have low food access (4.5 percent of the population).
- 13.4 percent of rural Virginia and 18.8 percent of non-rural Virginia have low food access.
- *Access to the unemployment section was temporarily unavailable during the creation of this blog.
- Virginia’s average percent of the population with computer access and broadband is 87.5 percent.
- Black or African American Virginia communities have the lowest access to broadband (80.4 percent). Hispanic or Latino communities are second lowest at (86.9 percent). Asian communities have the highest percent of access to broadband by race/ethnicity (96.0 percent) and White communities have the second highest (88.7 percent).
- 12.5 percent of Virginia households experience severe cost burden, in which monthly housing cost exceeds 50 percent of household income, compared to the national average of 14.2 percent.
- 893,210 households (28.8 percent of Virginia households) experience cost burden, in which over 30 percent of income goes to monthly housing cost.
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