Saturday, February 27, 2016
Half of black Americans born into poverty stay poor
Upward mobility from the bottom of the income distribution is much less likely for black than white Americans: 51% of the black Americans born into the lowest fifth of the earnings distribution remain there at age 40. Downward inter-generational social mobility from the middle to the bottom is much more common among black Americans. Seven out of ten black Americans born into the middle quintile fall into one of the two quintiles below as adults. In some ways, this is an even more depressing fact than the poor rates of upward mobility. Even black Americans who make it to the middle class are likely to see their kids fall down the ladder. Race gaps in wealth – already wide – widened further during the Great Recession. The median wealth of white households is now 13 times greater than for black households – the largest gap in a quarter century, according to analysis by the Pew Research Center. Black median wealth almost halved during the recession, falling from $19,200 in 2007 to $11,000 in 2013.