For Blacks, Income Ladder More Like Chute

Middle-class children much less likely to pass parents than whites
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 13, 2007 7:07 PM CST
   (Index Open)
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(Newser) – Middle-class African Americans are much less likely to surpass their parents’ income than their white counterparts, a new study finds. Overall, two-thirds of American adults earned more than their parents, adjusted for inflation. But among the black middle class, 69% are making less. “Black children and white children do not have equal chances of moving up the income ladder,” the study’s author concludes.

Theories surround the disparity, the Wall Street Journal says. Lower marriage rates and less asset-rich inheritances could have contributed. The gap persisted in other income levels, but less drastically: Among the poor, 90% of whites and 73% of blacks surpassed their parents. Overall, America looks economically mobile, with the majority of respondents ending in a different class than their parents.