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Posted at 4:41 PM ET, 02/21/2011

Will your children be better off? Results from the race & recession poll

By Peyton M. Craighill

In the latest Washington Post-Kaiser-Harvard poll on race and the recession, African Americans are the most likely to say their children will one day have a better standard of living than they themselves do now. It's another mark of optimism among African Americans in the face of the deep recession.

There is a vast gulf between whites and blacks in their expectations for the future. When asked to judge whether there will be a better, same or worse standard of living "when your children are the age you are now," 60 percent of blacks say "better," just 18 percent "worse." That's a yawning 42-point gap for optimism. By contrast, whites divide about evenly on the question, with 36 percent saying better and 31 percent worse, an optimism edge of only five points.

Comparatively, whites don't see a lot of optimism for their kids, but there is an important partisan dimension here too. By a 2 to 1 margin whites who identify as Democrats tend to say things will be better rather than worse for their children in the future (44 vs. 21 percent). But white Republicans and independents split evenly on whether things will be better or worse.

These big differences in outlook contrast to the few differences across racial lines when respondents were asked to compare their own standard of living to that of their parents when they were of a similar age. Slim majorities of whites, blacks, Hispanics, Democrats, Republicans and independents all say they now enjoy better lifestyles their parents.

         Standard of living: You vs. your kids
          Better   Same   Worse   better-worse
Whites      36      26     31          +5 
Blacks      60      15     18         +42
Hispanics   56      21     20         +36

       Standard of living: You vs. your parents
          Better   Same   Worse   better-worse
Whites      51      29     19         +32
Blacks      53      26     19         +34
Hispanics   52      28     19         +33

By Peyton M. Craighill  | February 21, 2011; 4:41 PM ET
Categories:  Race  | Tags:  African Americans, Blacks, Harvard University, Hispanics, Kaiser Family Foundation, School of Public helath, Washington Post poll, better, children, kids, race and recession poll, standard of living, whites, worse  
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Next: Race and recession poll: African Americans big on optimism


Nobody will be better off if the country goes bankrupt and the dollar becomes worthless. If this happens, we will have true equality in this country. Everyone will be equally destitute.

Posted by: ecartr5 | February 22, 2011 1:17 PM | Report abuse

I agree with ecartr5 about the economy. Nobody can hope for a better quality of life if we don't get back on track.

Cut the crazy spending, and get our own house in order. One way to make a huge difference fast: stop illegal aliens' access to government benefits. Our middle classes cannot and should not be Mexico's welfare office.

The majority of illegals will never be able to contribute to our economy. Besides, what jobs they hold should go to citizens. Keep invaders out of the U.S., and we can begin to recover.

Posted by: wmpowellfan | February 23, 2011 8:22 AM | Report abuse

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