Income and Poverty in Communities of Color
In September 2013, the U.S. Census Bureau released 2012 income, poverty and health insurance coverage data that show despite efforts to build the economic security of individuals and family through programs and initiatives at the federal and state levels, the poverty rate remains statistically unchanged at 15 percent and 300,000 have joined the ranks of the poor. This policy brief provides an overview of the economic status and well-being of individuals and communities of color in the U.S.
After decades of slow, but steady economic progress, the Great Recession of 2007-2009 erased many of the previous gains made by Blacks in the labor market. This policy brief provides a snapshot of how Black workers are faring in the labor market and poses recommendations for building the long-term economic security of Black workers, their families, and communities.
Despite efforts to equalize earnings, a persistent wage gap exists between women and men. Recent Census data indicates that women earn $.77 for every dollar earned by men. This gap is more pronounced for women of color with Black women earning 61 cents and Hispanic women earning 52 cents for every dollar paid to a white male. This brief focuses on the negative impact of the gender-based wage gap for women of color, who face lower lifetime earnings overall, occupational segmentation, and unequal access to assets and other wealth builders.
The long-term economic security of American families is increasingly reliant on women’s wages, and the role of caretaker has shifted as a result. Women are still more likely than men to be caretakers for children, spouses, and/or parents, yet they are not more likely to have access to flexible workplaces. This brief will assess the impact and importance of workplace flexibility arrangements for women of color, particularly Black and Hispanic workers, who are less likely to have flexible schedules, access to paid sick leave, and other work supports.
Over the last thirty years, the profile of the typical single mother in America has changed considerably. Today she is older, more likely to be divorced, and employed full-time. Forty percent of all single women mothers in the United States are over the age of 40, forty-one percent are currently divorced or separated and more than 75 percent work outside of the home. This policy brief provides an overview of the key demographics of single mothers in the United States.
The official poverty statistics from 2009 estimate that approximately 8.8 million families and 43.6 million individuals are living in poverty, including more than 24 million people of color.1 A quarter of all Black and Hispanic families lived in poverty in 2009, and poverty rates were even higher for Black and Hispanic female-headed households (Figure 1). The Supplemental Poverty Measure will help policymakers better understand the breadth and depth of poverty’s impact on communities of color.