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The Research Briefs provides a snapshot of the latest analysis of topics that are of interest to policymakers, practitioners, researchers, government agencies, colleges/universities and the general public. If you have any questions concerning the research methodology, contact Dr. Robert Fenton, Director of Research, at


December 2022

After Work? : Financial Health and Quality of Life for South Carolina's Minority Senior Citizens

Old-age poverty continues to plague South Carolina's Minority populations. In this Brief, Research Director Dr. Robert P. Fenton examines some of the barriers faced by Minorities of retirement age in the state and compares them with data for their White peers. The Brief also explores issues related to supplementing income through retirement savings for the working age population by analyzing current publicly available data on the subject at the state level. (Download PDF)

November 2022

What's Changed?: The Impact of COVID-19 on Minority Employment and Income from 2019 to 2021

Unforeseen events, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, can serve both as an opportunity to remedy long-standing inequities and/or enable further impositions that tether societies to seemingly immovable structural constraints. In this Brief, we analyze how the pandemic has affected employment and income estimates for several of South Carolina's racial/ethnic groups from 2019 to 2021. This report finds that, by and large, the long-term structural constraints observed before the pandemic continue to constrain pay parity and employment opportunities for the state's Minority populations. (Download PDF)

September/October 2022

Gentrifying Black Charleston: Exploring the Displacement of Charleston's African American Population from 2000 to 2020

For centuries, Charleston's African American communities played a key role in the cultural and economic history of the United States, in general, and South Carolina more specifically. Over the past two decades, however, the city's African American population has been gradually replaced by predominantly White populations, through the process known as gentrification. In this brief, Research Director Dr. Robert P. Fenton explores some of the key metrics associated with the gentrification process in Charleston. (Download PDF)

August 2022

Speaking My Language: Languages other than English, Educational Attainment Levels, and Median Incomes in South Carolina's Minority Communities

In this brief, former Research Intern Mateo Pierce-Mosquera and Research Director Dr. Robert P. Fenton, examines the interplay between educational attainment and linguistic ability for South Carolina's racial and ethnic minority populations. Furthermore, it assess how English-language abilities and educational achievement affect median personal income levels. (Download PDF)

July 2022

Unaffordable Housing: Cost-Burdened Housing Estimates for South Carolina's Minority Population (Download PDF)

Minorities are more likely to reside in cost-burdened housing arrangements than their white peers. In this brief, Research Director Dr. Robert P. Fenton examines cost-burden housing and suggests that policies aimed at increasing minority homeownership rates could significantly diminish cost burdens experience by the minority community in South Carolina.

June 2022

A Look Behind the Bars: Examining the State of South Carolina's Prison Population (Download PDF)

In this brief, Social Science Research Analyst Ashley Hanna-Williams examines the State of South Carolina's prison population in light of the growing socioeconomic imbalances that infringe upon the state’s historically disenfranchised and under-served communities. This information was presented publicly at the 2022 South Carolina Re-Entry Conference on April 8, 2022. 

March 2022

African American Representation in Health Care: Racial Disparities within the State's Healthcare Workforce (Download PDF)

This report, prepared by Social Science Research Analyst Ashley Hanna-Williams, provides a brief overview of African American representation within the state's healthcare system. Data originated from the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey One-Year and Five-Year Estimates. This information has been presented publicly at the South Carolina Commission for Minority Affairs Black History Month Celebration on February 10, 2022.

Gender Pay Wage Gap By State (Download PDF)

In recognition of Women's History Month, Social Science Research Analyst Ashley Hanna-Williams discusses the difference between median earnings for men and women who worked full-time between 2015 and 2019.

February 2022

Asian American and Pacific Islanders in South Carolina (Download PDF)

Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) are the third largest minority ethnic group in South Carolina. However, due to cultural, national, and linguistic differences, the pan-ethnic label "AAPI" obscures more than it reveals. This brief, prepared by Research Director Dr. Robert P. Fenton, examines data on national origins and geographical dispersal amongst the AAPI community in South Carolina.

January 2022

Minority Homeownership in South Carolina (Download PDF)

This report, prepared by Social Science Research Analyst Ashley Hanna-Williams, provides a brief overview of South Carolina's minority homeownership figures and trends for the past decade.

Hispanic/Latinos: National Origins, Citizenship Status and Income (Download PDF)

This report, prepared by intern Mateo Pierce-Mosquera and Research Director Dr. Robert P. Fenton, provides pertinent data on the state's growing Hispanic/Latino community, particularly around the issue of citizenship and income. 



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February 2022

African American Representation in Health Care: Increasing Racial and Ethnic Diversity Amongst South Carolina's Healthcare Systems (Download PDF)

This presentation, delivered by Social Science Research Analyst Ashley Hanna-Williams, was prepared for the 2022 Black History Month Celebration honoring Black leaders in healthcare and wellness. The presentation provides information on the contributions of African Americans in healthcare.