They say the socioeconomic class you were born into is likely the one in which you’ll remain but for African Americans there is a greater chance of us actually falling into a lower income bracket, according to a new study from the Economic Mobility Project.
African Americans weren’t the focus of the study and we actually weren’t the only ones of the receiving end of a dismal prognosis. As the Washington Post reports, while 84 percent of Americans earn more than their parents, only about a third actually moved up between income classes during the past four decades, and 16 percent of all families surveyed dropped from the income levels of their parents. Unfortunately though, African Americans fared worse. Only 23 percent accumulated more wealth than their parents, compared with 56 percent of whites, and half were likely to fall out of the middle income range and into lower class.
To the opening point I made about remaining in one’s birth class, the researchers found that to be true even more so these days, finding that in the past 40 years Americans have had a harder time moving up and down between income classes. Forty-three percent of those raised by the bottom level of income earners were likely to remain there as adults, and likewise, 40 percent of the children from the highest-earning families were likely to become high earners themselves.
A number of factors contribute to this idea “relative mobility,” as the researchers call it, which is earning more than one’s parents but remaining in the same class. As expected, those with college degrees are three times more likely to climb from the bottom of the family income ladder to the top, and even geography plays a role. Those who grow up in high poverty neighborhoods are likely to become downwardly mobile as well.
The most telling of the findings was that the chances of moving from the absolute bottom of the income spectrum to the very top is only 4 percent. The Economic Mobility Project says that the American “rags-to-riches” story is “more often found in Hollywood than in reality.” I’d also like to suggest this whole notion of pulling oneself up solely by his own bootstraps which has come to define the right wing should also go out the window with that fairytale.
More on Madame Noire!
- Where Are They Now? Flavor of Love, Reader’s Request Edition
- The Blackest Eye: Tales of the Light Skinned Girl Who Wanted to Be Darker
- Cute Kid Alert: Fantasia Debuts Her Son, Dallas, Lil Wayne’s Son With Nivea, And A Lot More
- Choose Your Battles: Why Do Some Black Folks Snap On Customer Service Workers Over Petty Things?
- My Life: Taught To Have Brains In The “Absence” of Beauty
- When Keeping It Real Goes Right & Wrong: Celebs Who We Like More And Less After Doing Reality TV
- Single Black Male: 7 Reasons Black Men Take Longer to Put a Ring On It