The black middle class: Progress, prospects, and puzzles

  • Paul Attewell
  • Thurston Domina
  • David Lavin
  • Tania Levey


This article documents the size and growth of the black middle class at the beginning of the 21st century, analyzing data from the US Census and the Current Population Survey on income, occupations, and education. We examine barriers to further growth of the black middle class, assessing theories of marriageability and imbalances in the numbers of college-educated black men and women. We also document the consequences of low marriage and cohabitation rates for the growth of the black middle class, and show that there are relatively high rates of intergenerational downward mobility among affluent black families.


Black Woman Current Population Survey American Sociological Review Stereotype Threat Marriage Rate 
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Copyright information

© Transaction Publishers 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul Attewell
    • 1
  • Thurston Domina
    • 1
  • David Lavin
    • 1
  • Tania Levey
    • 1
  1. 1.the City University of New York Graduate CenterUSA

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