Low-Income Working Families: The Racial/Ethnic Divide

Source: Deborah Povich, Brandon Roberts and Mark Mather, Working Poor Families Project, Policy Brief, Winter 2014-2015

A new report by The Working Poor Families Project examines the large and growing economic divide among America’s 32.6 million working families, with whites and Asians at the top and other racial/ethnic groups—particularly blacks and Latinos—falling behind. In 2013, there were 10.6 million low-income working families in America—racial/ethnic minorities constitute 58 percent of this group, despite only making up 40 percent of all working families nationwide. In addition, working families headed by racial/ethnic minorities were twice as likely to be poor or low-income (47 percent) compared with non-Hispanic whites (23 percent)—a gap that has increased since the onset of the Great Recession in 2007. There are significant state and regional variations in the economic well-being of minority working families as well. The report calls on state policy leaders to address this economic divide, offering policy recommendations that address these inequalities, improve conditions for millions of lower-income parents and their children and promote economic growth.