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