According to the Associated Press, the income gap between black and white families has grown. A new study that tracked the incomes of 2300 families over the past 30 years has made the conclusion.Some attribute the growth in the income gap to be due to the increase in the numbers of women in the workforce. This trend has increased family incomes for both blacks and whites, but it has had a greater impact on whites for two reasons: white women earn more and black families are not married as regularly.
"Overall, incomes are going up. But not all children are benefiting equally from the American dream," said Julia Isaacs, a fellow at the Brookings Institution, a Washington think tank.
Isaacs wrote a report that looked at incomes of parents in the last 1960s and 1970s, and then followed their grown children 30 years later. The reports found that about two-thirds of the children surveyed grew up to have higher family incomes than their parents had 30 years earlier.
The reports found that 2/3 of their children had higher incomes than their black parents. While both white and black children had higher incomes than their parents, white children benefited more than black ones.
"Too many Americans, whites and even some blacks, think that the playing field has indeed leveled," said Marc Morial, president and CEO of the National Urban League.
It has not, he added.
"We are like fingers on the hand," Morial said of black and white Americans. "We are on the same hand, but we are separate fingers."Most interestingly, middle class black children were not as likely to have received wealth from their parents as middle class white children.
My interpretation: middle class is an income measure, not a wealth measure. Black families, even when the income is just as high as whites, tend to have lower wealth. That is due to the fact that most black families had no wealth to pass to their children. So, even a relatively well-to-do middle class black family is more likely to be saddled with debt.