The following paper will look at a comparison of income and poverty level between Whites, African Americans and Latino’s who reside in two different towns within the state of Massachusetts; Hudson and Plymouth. It will also examine those same categories of income and poverty level between the same races in Massachusetts and the United States as a whole.
The following table was constructed using information taken from the US Census Bureau web site with their American Fact Finder application.
|Hudson, MA||Plymouth, Ma||Massachusetts||United States|
|White Alone||Median Income(Dollars)||55,212||40,115||52,445||44,687|
|% of Families below Poverty Level||3.3||6.1||4.6||6.3|
|Black Alone||Median Income(Dollars)||No info available||No info available||33,727||29,423|
|% of Families below Poverty Level||No info available||No info available||18.3||21.6|
|Hispanic or LatinoAll races||Median Income(Dollars)||35,735||No info available||27,300||33,676|
|% of Families below Poverty Level||0%||No info available||28.5||2|
Source: DP-3 Profile of Selected Economic Characteristics: 2000 (SF4 Sample Data)
Looking at the data provided by the Census Bureau, we can see some disparities of income and poverty level between those races that identified themselves as White, African American, or Latino/Hispanic. The levels of poverty in the White category are significantly smaller than the other two comparison groups in every region we examine with overall poverty in the United States at 6.3 percent. The closest region to reflect the overall poverty level in the state of Massachusetts for the White category is Plymouth at 6.1%. When we look at the state level of poverty for Whites in Massachusetts it’s 1.7% less than the nation average at 4.6%, with Hudson showing the lowest rate at 3.3%. Hudson, incidentally also had the highest median income level of all the regions for the White category at $55,212.
Looking at the African American category, we see that the poverty level is at 18.3% within Massachusetts, which is less than the national average of 21.6%. The median income level for this category is also higher within Massachusetts than the United States average; $33,727 versus $29,423 respectively. So while African Americans might be seen as fairing better within Massachusetts than those who reside elsewhere in the nation, the cost of living is also significantly higher in Massachusetts than in other parts of the United States. Also, the median income for the African American category for Massachusetts is almost $20,000 less than the median income for Whites in Massachusetts, which is $52,445. When trying to recover information at the town levels of Hudson and Plymouth, MA for income and poverty level, no such information was available from the US Census Bureau web site. Considering how significant smaller areas of examination and comparison have shown poverty and median income level changes for Whites, (median level of income in Hudson is over $55,000 and Plymouth is just over $40,000) it is questionable why this same information on disparities is not available for African Americans at the town level.
The Hispanic/Latino category does not fair as well as their other minority category in comparison at the state level. They fall to a $27,300 median level income; $6,000 less than the African American category and a poverty level 10% higher at 28.5%. When compared to the White category the situation is considerably worse. At the national level, the median income for the Hispanic/Latino category is $33,676; higher than the state level suggesting that Hispanics and Latinos fair better on average outside of Massachusetts. Poverty level at the national level is also much lower than the state level for this category at 20%. Interestingly enough, it seems those who live in Hudson fair the best on average with a median income of $35,735 for this category. 0% poverty level was reported for this area in this category however, this is more than likely a reflection of no data available and less a true representation of the poverty levels of these individuals in this area. Again, no information was available for this population within Plymouth, MA.
While poverty and median level income statistics vary between regions within each category, the most striking discrepancies can be found when we look at the differences between categories themselves. Whites hold a significantly higher median income and much lower average poverty level over both the African American and Hispanic/Latino category in every single region of analysis. The lowest median income level for the White category is in Plymouth, MA and it is still higher than the highest median income levels for African Americans ($33,727 in MA average) and the highest median income levels for Hispanics/Latinos ($35, 735 in Hudson, MA) by almost $5,000 at the narrowest gap. When we look at average poverty level, the highest for the White category is the national average of 6.3%, and it is still much lower than the lowest for both our minority categories (18.3% for African Americans in Massachusetts, and 20% for the Hispanic Latino national average) by 12% at the narrowest gap. This is not freedom and equality for all; this is unconscionable and indefensible.