We must ensure that
individuals and communities
in the United States can
address inequities
and prosper.

A large part of our population has been left behind—economically, in education, in measures of health and opportunity. Long-standing and worsening social and economic inequity have led to distrust in public institutions, decreased community cohesion, and suffering for many Americans. Reducing inequity will require a range of interventions.

RAND will present solutions to the structural disadvantages that exist in this country and many others—access to quality education and health care, sustainable jobs, a responsive policing and criminal justice system—to help chart a path toward a more equitable society.

Key themes for this priority


Advancing racial equity means moving beyond focusing on disparities to developing inclusive and equitable solutions that improve society for all. A closer look at the network of systems and policies that have perpetuated inequities or stood in the way of progress is needed to help advance racial equity policy.


Increased polarization, which has led to political paralysis, is one of the most challenging problems facing the United States. To improve civic well-being and government functions, we need to understand the connections between socio-economic challenges and political polarization.


Extended life expectancy in the U.S. is already affecting many of the benchmarks that have defined our lives. Yet many of our communities, services, and policies are not designed for a future in which people are living longer. Practical and scalable solutions are needed that prepare populations, particularly those underserved, to age well across health, employment, and social settings.


Creating a justice system that is fairer and more effective will require a broad range of policy interventions that span reforms to the civil and criminal justice systems. Key areas for examination include effective policing, extremism, access to justice, corrections reform and recidivism, and drug policy.