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Blacks Feel Most Economically Vulnerable

A new survey released by the University of Chicago’s Black Youth Project finds that African-American and Latino youth are the most economically vulnerable, according to a release announcing the study.

The survey also reveals how young people feel about a wide range of key economic issues and provides comprehensive data on young people’s perceptions of their economic future.

Reducing student debt, increasing wages and reducing home income inequality ranked at the top of young adults’ list of economic concerns across all racial and ethnic groups. Forty-one percent of African-Americans and 32 percent of Latino/as listed reducing student debt as one of the most important economic issues for the next president. Thirty-five percent of Asians and 30 percent of whites listed the action as a priority.

Some of the key findings from the nationally representative survey can be viewed below:

  • Young people of all races and ethnicities say reducing student debt, increasing wages, and reducing income inequality are the key economic issues for the next president to address.
  • Young people of color, especially African-Americans, report experiencing more work-related discrimination than whites and believe their race makes it more difficult for them to succeed economically.
  • Young women across racial and ethnic groups are more likely than men to have experienced economic discrimination. African-American men also report high rates of gender discrimination.
  • Few young people have a positive view of their household’s financial situation, and young African-Americans and Latino/as are the most economically vulnerable.

“These data indicate that young adults face a number of unique economic challenges and that young adults of color often face what we call an economic opportunity gap,” said Cathy Cohen, a professor of political science and founder of the Black Youth Project and GenForward survey at the University of Chicago. “However, young people—particularly young adults of color—also exhibit a surprising amount of optimism about their economic future.”

Click here for the full survey.