The U.S. Census has long been regarded as an accurate barometer of the United States’ demographics and geographical trends. The report, issued every 10 years, is also used to determine government funding and prioritizing of community resources. What many people may not know is that the Census also provides a clear picture about the economic stability of the nation.
The most recent U.S. Census report reveals that minorities have the highest poverty rates in the richest nation in the world. 27.2 percent of African-Americans and 25.6 percent of Latinos are at or below the poverty threshold. African-Americans, collectively, are the poorest of all ethnic and racial groups in America.
The statistics also show that 46.5 million people live in poverty which accounts for 15 percent of the entire population. Even more startling is the child poverty rate of 21.8 percent.
These numbers, which reflect self-reported data, suggest that the economic hardship that has affected the nation has been particularly crushing for the nation’s largest minority group. Many point to disparities in the job, education and prison sectors as the main culprits for the alarming numbers.
Others suggest that political banter and policies have made it difficult for most Americans to ascend to higher economic classes.
Homeownership and educational advancements are often earmarks for economic viability; yet, African-Americans are more likely to lose their homes if they endure job shifts or a loss of income. Additionally, schools in predominately African-American communities tend to have less technology and fewer resources to help their students break the cycle of poverty.
Without any clear directives as to how communities can begin to create greater economic vitality and sustainable, some social scientists and researchers are concerned that the poverty rate may be ongoing and therefore limit the opportunities for future generations of African-Americans.
It leaves many wondering, what will it take African-Americans to truly experience economic freedom?