Wednesday, February 11, 2015

The Race Gap in Income Would Have Closed If the Race Gap in Family Structure Had Not Widened

A new study confirms what I have argued before:  most of the race gap today is really a family gap.

Black wages have grown, and the black middle class proportion has grown.  If that was all that had happened, the racial income gap would have been cut substantially - at least in half - in the past half century.

Instead, the gap has remained the same over all.

This is largely because the proportion of black children growing up in single parent families has grown from about 25% in 1965 to more than 70% today.  These families are poorer than their two-parent counterparts, and the children who grow up in them are handicapped in gaining economic security as they grow up and make families themselves.

I thank Claude Fischer's fine blog for bringing a new study by Deirdre Bloom on this point to our attention.


Mac McCarty said...

And that is a tragedy The "greying" of the American Church is worrisome, but particularly so in Black communities where it was a moral anchor for so long.

Whit Brisky said...

The proportion of white births out of wedlock, and white children raised in non-traditional families, is also increasing, though not as fast. We are in a race to the bottom.

But this study makes a broader point, I think. Success in our society depends largely on our culture. And by that I am not talking about what music one listen's to, artwork one likes or food one eats, but upon the old standbys of American culture, the traditional family, hard work, education, self-reliance, etc. The middle and upper classes in America, black and white, follow that culture in their own lives and, by in large, do well. The best advice we can give to the poor would be to adopt the culture of those who have succeeded in our society as the best way to succeed themselves.

Gruntled said...

The proportion of births out of wedlock has been growing in all ethnic groups for people below the middle class. College-educated women of all ethnicities have been marrying at higher rates (and staying married), and are very unlikely to have their children out of wedlock. This is encouraging (and supports your main point).