Aug 23, 2016 5:30 AM GMT
Using data from the U.S. Census to track annual changes in income, poverty, and unemployment over the past five decades, we asked how each of America’s major ethnic groups has fared under Democratic or Republican presidents. Our findings are striking. When Republicans are in the White House, minorities generally lose ground. But Democratic presidents have presided over steady and substantial improvements for communities of color – and the nation as a whole.
Trends in Income, Poverty, and Unemployment
Economic outcomes clearly diverge under Democratic versus Republican presidents – especially for African Americans.
•Under Democratic presidents, black families’ incomes grew on average $895 dollars annually, but grew only by $142 dollars under Republicans. The black unemployment rate fell by a net 7.9 percentage points across the 26 years of Democratic leadership, but went up by a net of 13.7 points during 28 years of Republican presidencies. Across the years of Democratic leadership, black poverty declined by a net of 23.6 percentage points, but grew by three points when Republicans held the White House.
•Although data on Latinos and Asian Americans do not go back as far in time, the results are similar.
Could the Trends be Coincidental?
Like all social scientists, we probed our data to see if the racial and ethnic trends might be explained away by other factors. Perhaps Democratic presidents have gotten lucky and presided over expanding economies, while Republican leaders have happened to win office in depressed times. Three different sets of analyses suggest that this is not the case:...
It is not just that Democrats inherit good economies and Republicans are bequeathed bad economies. Everything points to a real and substantial partisan divergence.
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