Race-based disparities persist, says census data
Associated Press
Nov. 14, 2006

Stephen Ohlemacher

WASHINGTON - Decades after the civil rights movement, racial disparities in income, education and homeownership persist and, by some measurements, are growing.

White households had incomes that were 66 percent higher than Blacks and 40 percent higher than Hispanics last year, according to data released Tuesday by the Census Bureau.

White adults also were more likely than Black and Hispanic adults to have college degrees and to own their own homes. They were less likely to live in poverty. "Race is so associated with class in the United States that it may not be direct discrimination, but it still matters indirectly," said Dalton Conley, a sociology professor at New York University and the author of Being Black, Living in the Red.

Seventy-five percent of White households owned their homes in 2005, compared with 46 percent of Black households and 48 percent of Hispanic households.

Home ownership is near an all-time high in the United States, but racial gaps have increased in the past 25 years.

Black families also have been hurt by the decline of manufacturing jobs - the same jobs that helped propel many White families into the middle class after World War II, said Hilary Shelton, director of the NAACP's Washington office.

Among Hispanics, education, income and home ownership gaps are exacerbated by recent Latin American immigrants.