Are Rich Black Boys Falling into Poverty? New York Times Report Analyzed

Are Rich Black Boys Falling into Poverty? New York Times Report Analyzed”

Via a research group from Stanford University, Harvard University, the Census Bureau and other prestigious organizations, it was concluded that white boys who grow up rich typically remained wealthy as adults.

Los Angeles, Mar 20 Even the richest black boys raised in the United States earn less in adulthood than white boys from similar backgrounds, according to a wide-ranging study. In 2016, the median household income of black Americans was $50,000 compared with $84,000 for non-Hispanic white Americans. That gap widened to an average of roughly $11,000 for men from affluent families.

A new study found that even when black boys are brought up within some of the wealthiest families in the country, they still end up earning less than their equally advantaged white counterparts.


In contrast, black Americans have substantially lower rates of upward mobility and higher rates of downward mobility than whites, leading to the large income differences that persist across generations.

The income disparity was driven entirely by men, researchers found - with the gap virtually erased for women raised by parents of similar income levels. Black and white women with comparable family backgrounds grew up to attend college at near identical levels, worked similar hours, and earned closely equivalent wages.

White boys fare better than black boys who grow up side-by-side with parents on similar incomes in 99 per cent of American neighborhoods, according to the study, which traced the lives of 20 million children. A black child born to parents in the top 20th percentile of the income distribution was as likely to fall to the bottom quintile as he was to remain in the top. The male figure didn't even have to be their own father to have a positive effect on the black child, according to the study, further emphasizing the earlier finding that marriage within a household doesn't hold as much weight in the eventual outcome of a kid as once believed.

As for what accounts for the disparities in upward mobility, the researchers do not have a clear answer. And the gaps only worsen in the kind of neighborhoods that promise low poverty and good schools. Similarly, black boys who have fatherly presences in their lives had better futures.

However, the researchers found that less than 5% of black children in America now live in areas with a low poverty rate (less than 10%), with more than half of their fathers present.

"One of the most popular liberal post-racial ideas is the idea that the fundamental problem is class and not race, and clearly this study explodes that idea", said Ibram Kendi, a professor and director of the Antiracist Research and Policy Center at American University.

"This finding suggests that many widely discussed proposals may be insufficient to narrow the black-white gap themselves, and suggest potentially new directions for policies to consider". Researchers followed a cohort of 20 million children born in the US between 1978 and 1983 or legal immigrants who came to the country as children.

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