Asian-Americans Do Better than Other Ethnic Groups

Washington, DC: Asian Americans are ahead of other ethnic groups in the United States both in income and education, says a report released last Tuesday by the US Census Bureau.
The data showed that 49 per cent of Asian-American adults had at least a bachelor’s degree in 2005. Thirty per cent of white adults had at least a bachelor’s degree in 2005, while 17 per cent of African-American adults and 12 per cent of Hispanic adults had degrees.
African-American adults have narrowed the gap with white adults in earning high-school diplomas, but the gap has widened for college degrees.
The median income for Asian households was $60,367 last year compared to $50,622 for white households, $30,939 for African-American households and $36,278 for Hispanic households.
Median income for African-American households has stayed about 60 per cent of the income for white households since 1980. In dollar terms, the gap has grown from $18,123 to $19,683.
Hispanic households made about 76 per cent as much as white households in 1980. In 2005, it was 72 per cent.
The gap in poverty rates has narrowed since 1980, but it remains substantial. The poverty rate for white residents was 8.3 per cent in 2005. It was 24.9 per cent for black residents, 21.8 per cent for Hispanic residents and 11.1 per cent for Asian residents.
White adults were also more likely to own their own homes. Home ownership grew among white middle-class families after World War II when access to credit and government programs made buying houses affordable. Black families were largely left out because of discrimination. Home ownership creates wealth, which enables families to live in good neighborhoods with good schools. It also helps families finance college, which leads to better-paying jobs, perpetuating the cycle.
Three-fourths of white households owned their homes in 2005, compared with 46 per cent of black households and 48 per cent of Latino households. Home ownership is near an all-time high in the United States, but racial gaps have increased in the past 25 years.



Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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