Study: Louisiana ranks last on inclusiveness index, Hawaii first

Michael Tortorich
Gonzales Weekly Citizen

A new study found Hawaii to be the most inclusive state in the United States, while Louisiana ranked last.

The 2021 inclusiveness index is an annual ranking of states and nations, which examines the experiences of groups across a range of social dimensions, including gender, race/ethnicity, religion, disability, and sexual orientation.

Nevada, Rhode Island, Maryland, and Washington rounded out the top five states. Alabama, Mississippi, South Dakota, and Wyoming were in the bottom five.

The Louisiana Capitol in Baton Rouge is shown in a file photo.

Hawaii has consistently ranked in the among the top four most inclusive states since UC Berkeley's Othering and Belonging Institute began publishing the index six years ago, according to a news release.

“Hawaii is a remarkably unique place, not only with the largest multi-racial population in the U.S., but where race and difference are recognized and respected in a far more nuanced and frankly inclusive way than is typical of the mainland,” OBI Assistant Director and project co-leader Stephen Menendian stated in the release. 

For the first time this year the index features an interactive table.

“Similar to previous years, users can view how U.S. states or nation-states have performed in inclusivity compared to the last year’s ranking, albeit using the new and improved interactive display,” stated Samir Gambhir, one of the project leads.