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September/October 2010, 
Vol. 92, No. 5
Posted 2010-09-01

The Economic Progress of African Americans in Urban Areas: A Tale of 14 Cities

by Dan A. Black, Natalia A. Kolesnikova, and Lowell J. Taylor

How significant was the economic progress of African Americans in the United States between 1970 and 2000? In this article, the authors examine this issue for black men 25 to 55 years of age who live in 14 large U.S. metropolitan areas. They present evidence that significant racial disparities remain in education and labor market outcomes of black and white men, and they discuss changes in industrial composition, migration, and demography that might have contributed to the stagnation of economic progress of black men between 1970 and 2000. In addition, the authors show that there was no progress in the financial well-being of black children, relative to white children, between 1970 and 2000.