Friday, February 18, 2011

40 years ago: U.S. Census Bureau report shows economic gains made by blacks

A report issued by the United States Census Bureau on February 18, 1971 showed that many blacks (then still commonly called "Negroes") were rising economically. The median income of Negro families in northern and western states was "more comparable to that of white families than was the case in the south," according to the study. The 532,000 young Negro couples under the age of 35 living outside the southern states had made the biggest gains, while the economic lot of all Negro families with both parents living in the home made substantial gains.

The biggest problem of Negro families, however, was not geographical location, but the broken home. The report indicated that almost 1/3 of the Negro families in the U.S. were headed by only one parent. These broken families, usually headed by the mother--with the father missing--had made virtually no income gain in the previous decade, and more than half had incomes below the officially recognized "poverty" line.

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