Tuesday, April 21, 2015
Black and Hispanic working families are twice as likely as those headed by whites and Asians to be poor or low-income — a gap that has widened since the recession
Nearly one-third of all working families are either in poverty or earn no more than twice the poverty rate, which is $40,180 a year for a family of three. But 55% of Hispanic families and 49% of black families fall into that category, in part because they have lower levels of educational attainment than whites and Asians, who have just under 1 in 4 working families that are low-income. Nearly half of all low-income working families — and nearly 3 out of 4 low-income black working families — are headed by single parents. Also, more than half of low-income Hispanic families had at least one parent who did not complete high school. By contrast, just 16% of white workers were high school dropouts. Out of the 584,829 working families in New York that were considered low income in 2013, 381,000 (65%) were ethnic minorities. Only 35% (203,000) were white. Black and Hispanic working families in New York share a greater percentage of the low-income working families among minorities. In New York, 51% of the 197,000 Hispanic working families and 39% of the 278,000 black working families have incomes less than 200% of the poverty rate compared with 19% of the 1.08 million white working families. Nationwide, among the 10.6 million low-income working families in America, racial and ethnic minorities constitute 58%, even though they made up only 40% of all working families in the country. Also, 14 million of the 24 million children who live in low-income working families belong to racial or ethnic minorities. Latinos are at risk economically more than others because many of their low-income working families include at least one immigrant parent.