Report highlights progress, challenges facing African American community

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Black college graduation rates more than doubled from 1990 to 2018, and the percentage of black women enrolled in college is greater than the percentage of white men.

Those are the positives.

The negatives: black unemployment is nearly twice that of whites, and the median net worth for white families is nearly 10 times greater than that of black families.

These are among the highlights of a new report released by Congressman Don Beyer, D-Va., the vice chair of the Joint Economic Committee.

The report examined recent economic progress and remaining challenges facing the African American community in America.

“The data captured in this report show significant changes affecting African Americans which include both progress and areas where significant disparities remain,” Beyer said. “In the latter category, the unemployment rate for blacks is almost twice what it is for whites, which is unacceptable. Closing persistent, and in some cases, growing gaps between the economic experiences of white Americans and black Americans is vital to helping our society overcome its history of racial discrimination.”

Other highlights from the report:

  • Incarceration rates for black Americans fell by nearly one-third between 2007 and 2017.
  • The gap in life expectancy between non-Hispanic blacks and whites decreased between 2006-2010, though progress since has stalled.
  • Black households earned just 59 cents for every dollar white households earned in 2018.
  • Fewer than half of black families own their home compared to nearly three-fourths of white families.

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