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The black middle class: Progress, prospects, and puzzles

Abstract

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.

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Attewell, P., Domina, T., Lavin, D. et al. The black middle class: Progress, prospects, and puzzles. Journal of African American Studies 8, 6–19 (2004). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12111-004-1001-5

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Keywords

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