Mar 19, 2018

Study details modern struggle for black males through economic racism

Protestors marching on Broadway in New York

Protestors marching on Broadway in New York against mass incarceration. Photo: Albin Lohr-Jones/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

Racial inequality is still a bigger issue than classism when it comes to economic disparities between wealthy black boys and wealthy white boys, according to a study by the Equality of Opportunity Project. The study found that, despite growing up in similar households, black boys were more likely to become poor than white boys.

Why it matters: The study provides new statistical evidence that black males still have a tougher road to upward mobility than white males no matter what economic class they come from.

Methodology: The study done by researchers from Stanford, Harvard and the U.S. Census Bureau, followed 20 million children born between 1978 and 1983 using census data including tax files and their parent's financial situations.

By the numbers:

  • Wealthy black boys are more likely to become poor than their affluent white counterparts. The study found that 21% of black boys who grew up well-off became poor as adults while 39% of white boys remained rich.
  • In 99% of the neighborhoods sampled, black boys earned less than white boys despite growing up in the same setting.
  • Black boys born to poor parents have a 2.5% chance of rising to the top while their white counterparts have a 10.6% chance.
  • Black children in the survey made up 35 percent of children born at the bottom 1% of income distribution.
  • Black women, on the other hand, have shown to earn slightly more than white women, conditional of parental income.

Go deeper: The New York times did a comprehensive breakdown of the data.

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