Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Pew research highlights struggles of middle-income African Americans

For many of us, success means exceeding our parents’ accomplishments in income, class and education.

But a WaPo story that’s getting a lot of attention today highlights the struggle of African Americans to transfer the benefits of middle-class life to their children.

Nearly half of African Americans born to middle-income parents in the late 1960s plunged into poverty or near-poverty as adults, according to reports today from the Pew Charitable Trusts.

Highlights from Pew:

-Two out of three Americans who were children in 1968 had higher incomes than their parents.
-Women’s incomes have contributed greatly to growth in family incomes.
-In 2004, black women earned a median income of $21,000, almost equal to that of white women.
-Black men had a median income of $25,600, less than two-thirds than that of white men.

A sociologist from Columbia University listed potential factors contributing to the findings, including the increase in the number of single-parent black households, continued educational gaps between blacks and whites, and the racial isolation that exists for many black Americans.

-JACKIE SAUTER, Multimedia Editor

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