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Chart: Black America's incarceration rate is almost 37 times as high as Canada's

Dylan Matthews is a senior correspondent and head writer for Vox's Future Perfect section and has worked at Vox since 2014. He is particularly interested in global health and pandemic prevention, anti-poverty efforts, economic policy and theory, and conflicts about the right way to do philanthropy.

At The Atlantic, Theodore R. Johnson has created, along with KaNisa Williams, a startling infographic comparing black America to nations around the world. "If black America were a nation-state, how would it stack up against other countries?" Johnson asks. "How would it fare on standard measures of national power and weakness?" Naturally, he concedes, "this exercise presumes a monolithic black America," and the fact that black America is not a nation-state makes these comparisons necessarily imperfect. But his conclusion is striking all same: "Black America is a fragile state embedded in the greatest superpower the world has ever known."

Perhaps the most powerful comparison is of incarceration rates:

incarceration rate black america

(Theodore R. Johnson and KaNisa Williams)

The US as a whole incarcerates people at a higher rate than any other country for which reliable data exists (it's possible that the rate in North Korea is higher but it's impossible to know for sure). But the black incarceration rate doesn't merely top other countries' rates, it tops them by an order of magnitude.

Click here for the rest of the infographic. The median wealth comparison is also noteworthy. It's bad enough that the median American is less than half as wealthy as the median Canadian, Brit, Australian, Italian, or Japanese person. But the median black American is less wealthy than the median Brazilian, Mexican, or Chinese person.

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