Racial Disparities Opportunity Atlas
About the website…
This map allows you to search by a wide variety of demographics: Household Income, Incarceration Rate, Teenage Birth Rate (women only), Individual Income, Employment Rate, High School/College Graduation Rate, Hours Worked Per Week, Hourly Wage ($/hour). For example you will note the dark maroon color in the upper midwest. They are for Eagle Butte and Mission, South Dakota both of which have sizable indigenous populations. Individual income there averages $11,000 per year.
Racial Disparities in Income Mobility Persist, Especially for Men
Racial disparities in income and other outcomes are among the most visible and persistent features of American society. The sources of these disparities have been studied and debated for decades, with explanations ranging from segregation and discrimination to differences in family structure and genetics.
Most previous work on racial disparities has studied inequality within a single generation of people. We analyze how racial gaps change across generations, allowing us to identify the factors that lead to disparities between racial groups that persist over time. Using de-identified data from the U.S. Census Bureau covering 20 million children and their parents, we measure the differences in incomes in adulthood between children of different races who grow up in families with similar parental incomes. We show how these intergenerational race gaps vary across areas of the U.S. and discuss implications for pathways to reduce racial disparities.
- The incomes of Hispanic and Asian Americans are approaching those of white Americans over generations; those of Black Americans and American Indians are not.
- The black-white intergenerational income gap for children at the same parental income level is primarily accounted for by differences in men’s not women’s, outcomes.
- Differences in family characteristics – parental marriage rates, education, wealth – and differences in ability explain very little of the black-white intergenerational gap.
- In 99% of neighborhoods in the United States, black boys earn less in adulthood than white boys who grow up in families with comparable income.
- Both black and white boys grow up to have higher incomes from low-poverty areas, but black-white intergenerational gaps are actually larger in lower-poverty neighborhoods.
- Within low-poverty areas, black-white intergenerational gaps are smallest in areas with low levels of racial bias among whites and high rates of father presence among blacks.
- The black-white gap is not immutable. It is shaped by childhood environment. Childhood exposure to neighborhoods with higher outcomes and lower race gaps both increases outcomes and produces smaller gaps in the next generation.
“Which neighborhoods in America offer children the best chance at a better life than their parents? The Opportunity Atlas uses anonymous data following 20 million Americans from childhood to their mid-thirties to answer this question.Many people think about conditions in a neighborhood based on the incomes of current residents. The Opportunity Atlas, in contrast, shows for the first time how much kids who grow up in a neighborhood earn as adults. Using these new data, you can learn exactly where and for whom opportunity has been missing, and develop local solutions to help more children rise out of poverty.”