NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Education and Income Rise for Black Households

February 23, 2001

Record percentages of blacks are earning college and high school degrees. The increase in education levels has led to greater job opportunities and increased income, according to a new Census Bureau report.

  • About 79 percent of blacks ages 25 and older had earned at least a high school diploma as of March 2000 -- and 17 percent of them also possessed at least a bachelor's degree.
  • Median household income for blacks was $27,910 in 1999 -- up 7.7 percent from the previous year, inflation adjusted.
  • That compares to a 2.7 percent rise in the national median household income -- to $40,816.
  • Census officials explain that the larger income jump for blacks is due to their catching up with the economic boom other groups enjoyed in the 1990s.

Earlier in the decade, blacks were slower to benefit from the good economic times.

But economic revivals in black neighborhoods -- primarily in Washington and New York -- as well as a leveling off in the number of single-parent households also contributed to the income increases.

Source: Associated Press, "Education, Jobs Raising Black Families' Incomes," Washington Times, February 22, 2001; "Black Population in the U.S.: March 2000, PPL-142," March 2000 Current Population Survey (CPS), Bureau of the Census, Washington, D.C.


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