The state of black America | Columns
Listening to all the rhetoric in the popular media, you would think America is the most unjust racist nation in the world. One would think that black Americans uniformly live in oppression and poverty, with no hope for the future, except for the federal government arriving on the scene to help them.
Sorry, Liberals, for bothering you with facts. But there are facts. And the facts tell a much different story than what we hear.
Let’s start with the most recent Census Bureau annual report: Income and Poverty in the United States: 2019.
According to this report, the median real annual household income in the United States increased 6.8% in 2019, the largest annual increase recorded by the Census Bureau since 1967.
Median black household income in 2019 rose 7.9%, the highest on record and, according to American Enterprise Institute economist Mark Perry, “nearly nine times the average annual increase of 0.90 % over the last half century ”.
Additionally, in 2019, 29.4% of Black households had an income of $ 75,000 or more, compared to 28.7% of Black households who had an income of $ 25,000 or less. It was the first time in history that the percentage of high-income black households exceeded the percentage of low-income black households.
In 1967, 44.5% of black households were low income, compared to 9.1% high income.
Last September, the Federal Reserve released its Survey of Consumer Finances, released once every three years. The survey covers the three-year period 2016-2019, just before the start of the pandemic.
During this period, according to the report, black net worth increased by 32.1%, Hispanics ‘net worth increased by 63.6%, and whites’ net worth increased by 4%.
Black trade fairness increased 138%.
What about other measures of success?
According to the Census Bureau, in 2019, 88% of blacks had a high school diploma, 98% of the national average. In 1950, the percentage of blacks with a high school diploma was 50% of the national average.
In 2018, 37.8% of blacks aged 18 to 24 were enrolled in college, compared to a national average of 40.9% in that age group.
In the 25-39 age group, 28.4% had a bachelor’s degree or above, compared to 40.5% of the general population.
The black school dropout rate in 2018 was 4.9%, compared to a national average of 5.7%.
Am I trying to distract from the many real economic and social issues in many black communities?
Certainly not. But what I want to disillusion is the emphasis on the issues of certain black communities and the use of this data to generalize about all blacks. It is certainly wrong and a distortion, and ironic how often it comes from those who claim to be fighting racism.
It is certainly true, again according to the Census Bureau, that in 2019, blacks, who made up 13.2% of the population, represented 23.8% of people living below the poverty line.
But is it racism? The data tells us it’s about family breakdown, not racism.
And the problem of family breakdown plagues the whole nation. This happens to hit many black communities particularly hard. Poverty is excessive in households of all races headed by single women. It turns out that blacks have a very high percentage of households headed by single women.
But, according to Statistica, only 6.4% of black households headed by a married couple live in poverty.
So enough racist generalizations about black people. And enough of the distortions that blacks have not gained ground in our free country and that where we have problems we need more government.
The progress and achievements of blacks since the 1960s has been substantial.
Where problems exist and progress is disappointing, the government has invariably been the problem, not the solution.
Star Parker is president of the Center for Urban Renewal and Education and host of the weekly “Cure America with Star Parker” television show.