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Equity Lens: Equity vs. Equality

Equity and equality are not synonymous. The dictionary definition of equity is the quality of being fair and impartial. Equality is defined as the state of being equal, especially in status, rights, and opportunities. To delve in deeper, equity recognizes each person has varying circumstances and needs, meaning different groups of people need different resources and opportunities allocated to them to thrive. Equality, on the other hand, is giving everyone the exact same resources across the board, regardless of individual or groups of people’s actual needs or opportunities/resources already provided to them.

There are generational disparities between the understanding of Equality vs. Equity. A survey of 1,073 Americans across demographics and all 50 states, showed that 66.95% of Baby Boomers, 77.66% of Gen X, 76.35% of Millennials, and 82.65% of Gen Z understood the difference.

Graphic showing visual difference between equity and equality using circles and ovals

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