Mothers play a crucial role in ensuring a brighter future for the next generation. But when they start off with a big disadvantage, the future of more engaged relationships between mothers and children in our country is also put at risk. This is true for many Black American mothers as presented in this infographic. Using data from the U.S. Census Bureau 2009 report, black American mothers are found to lag behind among other racial groups in four key areas: marriage and divorce, education, number of children, and household expenditures. These areas tend to stack up the burden for black Americans, beginning with the fact that they have the highest rate of raising their children on their own with 11.5% of blacks facing a divorce compared to just 4.9% for Asians, the lowest in the divorce department. Add to this, black families also have the highest number of children in proportion to race population. The rate for black families with 5-6 children is at 2.5%, while on the extreme end, it’s only 1% for Asian. More tellingly, the median household income for blacks is $38,409 versus $62,545 for whites and $75,027 for Asians.
Some may find the infographic uncomfortably touching on race issue this Mother’s Day—a happy day of celebration for all moms—but this story presents an opportunity to address an age-old social evolution and journey towards equity that still takes place today. While the figures presented here are not absolute, they do illustrate a persistent trend, suggesting more than concluding that black American mothers face more problems and that their unique situation deserves the attention of our country’s policymakers and stakeholders.
The good news is, a recent study by Pew Research shows that American mothers with infant children today are more educated, highlighted by the fact that 6 out of 10 have at least gone to college, the report says. While the report doesn’t communicate key factors about racial groups, Black American mothers are hoped to benefit from this trend. The study also points out that blacks and Hispanics are experiencing a decline in fertility rate, which can be a positive direction to a more sustainable family size.
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