“Over the past half century, I can say that everything has been stagnant for many indicators,” said Ellora Derenoncourt, an assistant professor of economics and public policy at the University of California in Berkeley. “Wealth gap, income gap, income gap.”
The wealth gap has narrowed somewhat until the financial crisis ten years ago. More Black became homeowners, but factors such as permanent housing separation meant that the value of their home and net worth did not increase as much for White homeowners, says economy professor Edward Wolff at New York University. Also, Black families tended to have higher mortgage debt.
The mortgage crisis that triggered the economic slump reversed these gains. According to the Institute of Cities, the ownership rates among Blacks have dropped from about 50% in 2004 to 40% in recent years – a level not seen since the 1960s. The Congress passed the Fair Housing Law in 1968 to prohibit racial discrimination.
“With the collapse of house prices, they were much more challenged than the White families,” said Wolff, Black hosts. “The lower income and credit crisis meant that they remained outside the housing market even after 2010.”
The average income of black households grew from the late 1960s to the 1970s, following various federal reforms, including the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination in employment and establishes the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Experts say this helps to reduce the gap between the average income of Black and White families.
In addition, expanding the federal minimum wage coverage to agriculture, restaurants, nursing homes and other services, where about a third of Black workers were employed, helped narrow the earnings gap between Black and American Americans during this period. He explored the impact of the 1966 Fair Labor Standards Law.
After that, the division re-expanded as Black Americans lost ground.
Researchers point to several factors, such as a weakening of federal efforts and a decrease in unionization, as well as an increase in the incarceration rate of single Black mothers and Blacks to combat structural racism to explain return. men. And while Black Americans are more educated, they are still not adequately represented in high-skilled, better-paying jobs.
Roy Wilkins Human Relations and Social Center Director Samuel Myers, Jr. According to an analysis by, the average earnings rate among Black and White Americans by 2019 fell to where it was for both men and women in the 1970s. Justice at the University of Minnesota.
“We couldn’t change the mechanisms by which we reproduce wealth, reproduce skills, reproduce market results,” Myers said. Said. “And it’s about race.”
One area where the racial gap has shrunk in the past 50 years is poverty.
In 1970, nearly four times as many Spanish non-Hispanic American Americans had poverty. In 2018, this rate was about 2.6.
A more steady contraction of the division began in the 1990s in the economic welfare and hot labor market. In addition, some government programs for low- and middle-income Americans, such as Earned Income Tax Credit, have been adjusted to make the business more attractive. And in 1996, Congress overhauled well-being, reducing aid to families and prioritizing employment.
The trend continued during the 2008 crisis and in recent years, which increased financial distress among all Americans.
Christopher Wimer, co-director of Columbia University Center for Poverty and Social Policy, however, one in five Americans lives in poverty.
“Although this has dropped a lot in the past 50 years, it’s still a surprisingly high number.” Said.
Another area where the gap between races is narrowed is the share of each group employed. This gap has been almost halved since 1972, but all recovery has taken place in this decade; this saw steady business growth until the coronavirus pandemic was hit in March.
“In the tight labor markets, previously excluded African Americans are now getting jobs,” said senior economist Olugbenga Ajilore from the left-leaning American Progress Center.
Unemployment had been at or near the lowest level of 50 years for several months.
Still, problems that have plagued Black Americans for decades remain. Ajilore said that ongoing recruitment discrimination keeps the Black unemployment rate twice or above the White unemployment rate.
“This positive age still had its main problems explained by this pandemic,” Ajilore said. Said.
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