Despite the never-ending onslaught of headlines bemoaning the dismal financial state of Black America, all is not as bad as we’re led to believe.
In fact, in many areas, African-Americans are making huge financial strides. Here are three pieces of good news to provide you with relief from the usual stories of financial gloom and doom.
We’ve caught the entrepreneurial bug
The media loves to herald the latest and greatest Silicon Valley success story, but far from the California coast, Black women are leading the entrepreneurship charge. Since 1997 the number of businesses owned by Black females has grown by 322%, making African-American women the nation’s fastest growing group of small business owners.
The nearly 1.3 million female African-American businesses in the United States generated an estimated $52.6 billion in yearly revenue.
We’re striving for more education
You’re probably aware of the explosion in the Black prison population, but did you know that there has also been an explosion in the number of African-Americans attending college?
Last year 70.9% of all Black high school graduates enrolled in college, exceeding the percentage of White and Hispanic graduates enrolled.
This surge in African-American enrollment is especially encouraging since a college graduate generally earns nearly one million dollars more over her lifetime than a high school graduate.
We’re earning more
The Great Recession economically annihilated Black America, but we are finally starting to show signs of recovery. According to a recently released Nielsen report, for households making more than $60,000 annually, African-American income growth rates dramatically outpaced those of non-Hispanic Whites.
The most dramatic increases occurred in households earning over $200,000 a year. The percentage of Black households earning $200,000 or more increased 138% from 2005-2013. This far exceeded the rate for the general population, which saw only a 74% increase in the number of families making more than $200,000 annually.
According the Nielsen report:
African-American consumers are making gains and upending outdated stereotypes on multiple fronts from education to income to social media and civic engagement—becoming increasingly affluent, influential and culturally diverse.
The report attributes the increase in Black income to several factors, including the fact that African-Americans are achieving higher levels of educational attainment. In addition, Blacks are increasingly participating in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) careers and taking full advantage of the digital economy.
BMWK, what economic news has made you smile recently?