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Study shows worse health outcomes and lower incomes for Black women in Utah

A woman holds a baby, while two other women smile at the baby. Everyone in the picture is Black.
Photo Courtesy of Utah State University
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Utah Black women attain more preventative healthcare but fare worse in health outcomes compared to all Utah women. Significant findings also conclude that Utah Black women are much less likely to attain a Bachelor’s degree within the state and are less likely to be married.

The Utah Women & Leadership Project released their latest research snapshot on May 18, centering around the status of Black women in Utah. 

Dr. Tasha Toy, Assistant Vice President for Campus Diversity at Utah Tech University and lead author of this study, says it was very challenging yet rewarding for her and her team to analyze the numbers and data found about Black women in Utah. She said many times, there was no data to be found regarding any group of minority women within the state, which shows the need for more research like this to be done.

“That means that there are gaps; people aren’t looking at it, it’s not considered important, or the numbers are too small," Toy said. "But we are wanting to bring that to the forefront, that even though the numbers are so small it still needs to be presented and shared because when you don’t do that, that particular voice or perspective is lost.”

Findings of this study conclude that Utah Black women attain more preventative healthcare but fare worse in health outcomes compared to all Utah women. Significant findings also conclude that Utah Black women are much less likely to attain a Bachelor’s degree within the state and are less likely to be married.

Toy said the most shocking piece of research she and her team found revolved around the concerningly low amount of income Black women bring home. She said compared to their counterparts, Utah Black women have significantly higher poverty rates.

“The household income for Black women was around $38,000, compared to $70,000," Toy said. "That’s a huge gap, and to see those numbers between now to projected numbers in 2065, that’s very troubling that so many individuals have such a gap when it comes to household earning potential.”

Toy stressed the importance of Utah data collectors doing a more thorough job when it comes to researching diverse ethnicities within the state.

“Now that we know this, we need to go into our communities and have conversations about how we can correct it, how we can address it, how we can bring people to the table to have very frank, yet rewarding conversations about what does our community look like and what will our community look like in the future,” Toy said.

The next research snapshots studying diverse women in Utah will include Latina and Native American women.

Sydney Lasike graduated from Dixie State University, in St. George, Utah, in 3 years with a bachelors degree in Media Studies (Multimedia Journalism Emphasis). There, she competed as a student-athlete on the women’s volleyball team, and was the Features Editor of the school newspaper, Dixie Sun News. She was awarded the 2021 Media Studies Student of the Year Award, and graduated with Latin Honors - Magna Cum Laude.