Philadelphia is one of the cities where the income gap has widened between whites and inner city blacks, as more affluent African-Americans leave for the suburbs, according the Associated Press.
In a census released today, researchers found not only a growing income division between urban whites and blacks – especially in Detroit, Chicago, Philadelphia, Cleveland and Milwaukee – but also a growing division between higher and lower income black people.
A rising black middle class is leading some African-American conservatives to believe that the problems of the disadvantaged now have more to do with character or cultural problems, rather than race, according to Roderick Harrison, a Howard University sociologist and former chief of racial statistics at the Census Bureau, in the AP report.
But that division is not absolute, Harrison told the AP. Most black Americans still maintain a strong racial identity and still see lack of opportunities, partly because many still keep close ties to less-successful relatives.
“I don’t think suburban blacks are yet driven by their higher income or new locations, although this might have a greater effect in a generation or two,” he said.
The typical white person last year earned about 1.7 times more money than blacks. This is the widest ratio since the 1990s.
African-American households that earn less than $15,000 a year went up from 20 percent to 26 percent over the last 10 years. Other race and ethnic groups showed smaller increases. The proportion of black households making $200,000 or more a year stayed about the same from 2000 – about 1.1 percent.