A new report shows there’s a growing economic divide between America’s working families.
The Working Poor Families Project, which promotes family-friendly policies, released its report which shows working families led by Hispanics and blacks are now twice as likely as whites and Asians to be poor or low-income, with much of the increase being fueled by the recession.
Based on an analysis of U.S. Census data, the report shows that in 2013 nearly 1 in 3 working families were earning less than 200 percent of the poverty level. For a family of four (two adults, two children), the 200 percent threshold was $47,248.
But there is a huge difference when breaking it down by race and ethnicity.
For whites, fewer than 1 in 4 working families made less than the $47,248. However, more than 1 in 2 Hispanic families were under the 200 percent threshold, while nearly 1 in 2 black families were under it.
“In a little more than a generation, racial/ethnic minorities will make up the majority of the U.S. population and labor force,” the report states. “Minority workers will play a critical role in keeping Social Security and Medicare solvent. But if current levels of inequality persist, younger workers and their families will not be able to move into the middle class and replace retiring baby boomers in the workforce.”
As you’d expect, the overall wealth gap has also widened.
Wealth inequality has also increased. Household wealth or assets are important to low-income families because they can provide a cushion to help families cover essential expenses, such as child care, transportation and health care. But in 2013, the median net worth of all white households was 13 times higher than that of African American households, and 10 times higher than that of Latino households. The wealth gap between whites and blacks is currently at its highest level since 1989.
This is just the latest data to show the disparity between rich and poor across the country. Newly-released education funding data shows that in 23 states, state and local governments spend less per pupil in the poorest school districts than in the richest districts.
Here’s the state-by-state breakdown of working families’ income (click on the yellow dot for that state’s data):