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The Inheritance of Black Poverty: Technical Paper

by Katherine Guyot; Richard V. Reeves; Scott Winship

Mar 1, 2018

This report confirms the stark differences in upward earnings mobility for black men compared to both black women and whites. It also confirms that black women, despite their solid earnings mobility, have very low family income mobility. The report then estimates the impact of racial differences in marriage rates by simulating higher marriage rates among black women: like Race and Economic Opportunity in the United States: An Intergenerational Perspective" by Raj Chetty, Nathaniel Hendren, Maggie Jones, and Sonya Porter, we find no significant effects.

  • Almost half of black boys and girls are in households in the bottom fifth of the income distribution, compared to just over one in ten white children.
  • Over half (54 percent) of black men born into households in the poorest fifth of the family income distribution end up, as individuals, in the poorest fifth of the earnings distribution for their respective gender, between the ages of 28 and 35, compared to the minority of white men (22 percent), white women (29 percent), and black women (34 percent).