Poverty in America – black poverty issues
The Census Bureau’s report titled Income, Poverty and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2008 contains information on the poverty rates and total persons in poverty for several races. The races are self-defined by the individuals surveyed, and by the Census Bureau in standard terms that may not be helpful in studying this topic.
Hispanics are listed as “of any race”. Blacks have been categorized in two differing ways, Black Alone and Black Alone or in Combination. Let’s look at how the two definitions for Black in the report compare for 2008.
|Female head of hshld in pov||5,533,000||5,782,000||249,000|
However you define Black, these numbers are well above those for the entire population. Still, it is a matter of perspective. For the purposes of this post, the numbers graphed are from the Black alone category. Click on the graph for a larger image.
It is very clear that black poverty rates in the United States are near record lows. Other than 1999 through 2001, they would be a record low. The Clinton bubble drove the rates to unheard of lows, but the bursting of that bubble seems to have revealed a core poverty rate that seems inflexible, somewhere between 24-25% of the total Black population.
Let’s look at one facet of Black poverty that is often cited as significant, single parent, female head of household. For the purposes of this post, the numbers graphed are from the Black alone category. Click on the graph for a larger image.
Rates are at near historical lows, but appear to be edging upward, advancing from 37% to 40% in the last eight years. Still, the 2008 is lower than any rate from 1999 on back.
Again, the numbers suggest a core of Black people in poverty, in this case people living in single parent households headed by a female.
It is the people who are in permanent poverty, the core, that ought to worry Americans. The data appears to suggest that despite some of the best economies of the last several generations, a group of Blacks failed to benefit from the successes. Single family households seem to be at the center of this, accounting for nearly 2/3 of those in core poverty.
Table of contents for Poverty in America in 2008
- Poverty in America – 2008 overview
- Poverty in America – 2008 health insurance coverage
- Poverty in America – wage parity between the sexes
- Poverty in America – black poverty issues
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This entry was posted on Wednesday, September 16th, 2009 at 11:01 am and is filed under American Economy, Original writing, Analysis, Original writing, American Economy, Poverty. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.