Institute of Urban Policy

The State of Black Lives in Texas: Income & Poverty

Thu, July 11, 2019
The State of Black Lives in Texas: Income & Poverty

The “American dream” of upward social mobility is not a reality for all. While a basic flow of income is necessary to build one’s life and legacy, the Black/White income gap is ever increasing, making Black people and families more likely to live in poverty. Much of this can be explained by unemployment; due to persistent exploitation, discrimination, and segregation in this country, Black people have always been exposed to fewer and less advantageous employment opportunities, which directly affects quality of life. In Texas, Black unemployment rates are twice as high as White unemployment rates.

IUPRA’s latest State of Black Lives in Texas report examines the causes and outcomes of income inequality and unemployment for Black Texans. This report is the fifth in a series that looks at various policy issues in Texas through a racial equity lens, with the goal of influencing policymakers to improve the lives of Black people in Texas.

This report looks at the historical background of poverty, unemployment, and the wage gap in the United States and Texas, looking specifically at how it affected and continues to affect Black people; explains the major factors that currently cause more income stability for Black people; and examines data on the racial wealth gap in Texas and throughout the United States. It then gives six key policy recommendations on addressing poverty among our most vulnerable populations.

Read or download the report here!


The State of Black Lives in Texas report series examines social issues affecting the Black population in Texas and provides research and policy recommendations to address those issues. The 2018-19 iteration covers education, income and poverty, housing, health, and criminal justice. Want to be the first to hear when we have events and new reports in the series? Sign up for IUPRA’s newsletter:

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