Economic (In)Security – The Experience of the African-American and Latino Middle Classes

Source: Jennifer Wheary, Thomas M. Shapiro, Tamara Draut, Tatjana Meschede, Dēmos, February 21, 2008

From the summary:
The post-World War II emergence of the American middle class was the direct, deliberate result of broad public investments that created economic opportunity, promoted upward mobility, and expanded the middle class. Even after decades of progress, substantial economic disparities remain along racial and ethnic boundaries. These disparities are apparent when comparing white households with the two fastest growing racial and ethnic groups in America, African Americans and Latinos. As a result of these barriers, these groups continue to experience greater barriers to entering and staying the middle class.

This report builds on our previous report, By a Thread: The New Experience of America’s Middle Class, which used an innovative Middle Class Security Index to measure the financial security of the middle class. The Index measures five key factors to determine whether a household’s overall profile supports middle-class economic security, puts them at high risk of falling out of the middle class, or leaves them somewhere in between. For each of the five areas measured by the Index – education, assets, housing, budget and healthcare – we have established thresholds that would support overall financial security or would threaten it.

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