PRB Report Examines U.S. Recession’s Continuing Social and Economic Toll
WASHINGTON, Dec. 8, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Since the recent U.S. recession’s official end in 2009, poverty has increased; homeownership, home values, and income are still declining; and blacks and Hispanics continue to be hardest hit, according to a new report by the Population Reference Bureau (PRB).
PRB’s “Post-Recession Update on U.S. Social and Economic Trends,” by Linda A. Jacobsen and Mark Mather, finds that while the unemployment rate in November 2011 fell to 8.6% — down from the rate of 9.9% in November 2009 — the pace of job growth is slower than in previous recoveries, and disparities among racial/ethnic groups remain. “At 14.3%, the unemployment rate for blacks in October 2011 was almost double the rate of 7.6% for whites,” says Jacobsen, vice president of Domestic Programs at PRB.
The report explores the economic downturn’s disproportionate impact on young adults, particularly young men. In 2010, nearly one in five men (19%) ages 25 to 34 was idle (neither working nor attending school), representing a 5 percentage point increase since 2007. “The rising number of young adults living with their parents, often disconnected from work and school, may lead to further declines in marriage, family formation, and childbearing,” says Mark Mather, associate vice president of Domestic Programs at PRB.
Major findings include:
- The poverty rate rose to 15.1% for 2010, up from 13.2% in 2008, a rate not seen since 1993. The poverty gap between children and elderly widened since the onset of the recession; child poverty reached 22% in 2010, a level more than double that of the elderly.
- The racial/ethnic homeownership gap has widened after narrowing for two decades: In 2010, about 73% of non-Hispanic whites were homeowners, compared with 47% of Latinos and only 44% of blacks.
- Americans continued to see their wealth decline between 2008 and 2010 as the median home value dropped $17,600 from $197,500 to $179,900; home values fell the most for Hispanics, 21 percent across this period.
- College enrollment rates among 18-to-24-year-olds held steady or slightly increased between 2008 and 2010: Enrollments for blacks and Hispanics increased, although they still lag behind those of Asian Americans and non-Hispanic whites.
- Marriage rates have fallen among all racial and ethnic groups, and for both men and women. There is a growing marriage gap between young adults with a high school diploma or less, and those with at least a bachelor’s degree.
- The recession appears to be influencing birth rates: U.S. total fertility rate (average number of births per woman) fell from 2.12 children in 2007 to 2.01 in 2009, and may be as low as 1.93 for 2010, according to preliminary estimates.
This analysis is based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau (American Community Survey, Current Population Survey, and Decennial Census), the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the National Center for Health Statistics.
The Population Reference Bureau informs people around the world about population, health, and the environment, and empowers them to use that information to improve the well-being of current and future generations.
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SOURCE Population Reference Bureau