The face of our nation is changing as African Americans, Latinos, Asians, Native Americans, Pacific Islanders, and other non-Whites emerge as the new "majority-minority." According to the U.S. Census Bureau, by 2050 people of color will comprise more than half (52.3 percent) of the U.S. population. But unless we begin taking real steps to change the "racial economic divide" in our country, racial minority groups will continue to experience increasingly extreme social and economic injustices.
In collaboration with SEIU and other progressive partners, United for a Fair Economy released its "State of the Dream: Emerging Minority Report." The report measures the impacts of public policy on the "racial economic divide" since the Reagan Administration. It also offers a 30-year projection on social and economic indicators including income, wealth, poverty, health care, home ownership, education and incarceration.
"State of the Dream" Report Highlights
Here are just some of the key findings and projections from the report:
- Income Disparities: Black and Latino median incomes will be 61 cents and 45 cents, respectively, for every dollar of median White income in 2042. Blacks will have gained only 4 cents while Latinos will have lost 15 cents of median income relative to Whites from 2010 to 2042.
- Poverty: In 2010, poverty rates among Blacks (25.7%) and Latinos (25.4%) were more than two and a half times the White poverty rate. By 2042, the Black and Latino poverty rates will remain 1.9 times and 2.6 times that of the White poverty rate.
- Jobs: The current unemployment rates stand at 7.5 percent for Whites, 15.8 percent for Blacks and 11 percent for Latinos. In 2042, Black and Latino unemployment will be 1.8 times and 1.5 times higher than White unemployment, respectively.
- Wealth: By 2042, Blacks and Latinos will both have lost ground in average wealth, holding only 19 cents and 25 cents for each dollar of White wealth. The average net worth of Black and Latino families in 2007 was 20 cents and 27 cents, respectively, for every dollar of White net worth.
This past year, we have witnessed some of the most devastating economic loses in a generation. Our families, our friends, and our neighbors are in the fight for their lives to find a good job, keep their homes, and pay bills.
Dr. King believed that all working families deserve economic justice. In observation of the Dr. King holiday--and in honoring his legacy throughout the year--we must remember this and continue fighting for the economic justice King envisioned for America's 13 million unemployed, the long- term unemployed, and the 24 million people looking for work today.