A Demographic Snapshot of Disconnected Low-Income Men. In Several Metropolitan Areas, Most Low-Income Men Are Hispanic

08/01/2013

Low-income men are disproportionately Hispanic and African American. Looking at low-income men age 18–44 nationwide, no single racial or ethnic group is a majority: 45 percent are white, 32 percent are Hispanic, 16 percent are African American, and 7 percent are other races and ethnicities. Among all men age 18–44 nationally, however, there is a clear majority: 60 percent are white, 20 percent are Hispanic, and 12 percent are African American.

Figure 4. Race and Ethnicity of All 18–44-Year-Old Men, Top 10 Metropolitan Areas, 2008–10

Figure 4. Race and Ethnicity of All 18–44-Year-Old Men, Top 10 Metropolitan Areas, 2008–10

Source: ASPE tabulations of the American Community Survey (2008–10).

The race and ethnicity of low-income men in the top 10 metropolitan areas generally mirror the racial and ethnic make-up of the metropolitan area where they reside. However, low-income men are disproportionately Hispanic and African American. For example, although 53 percent of all men age 18–44 in the Riverside metropolitan area are Hispanic (figure 4), Hispanic men represent 69 percent of< those who are low income (figure 5). Similarly, Hispanics are 50 percent of all men, but 72 percent of low-income men, in the Los Angeles metropolitan area and 42 percent of all men, but 63 percent of low-income men, in the Houston metropolitan area.

Figure 5. Race and Ethnicity of Low-Income Men, Top 10 Metropolitan Areas, 2008–10

Source: ASPE tabulations of the American Community Survey (2008–10).

Note: Low-income men are age 18–44, live in families with incomes below 200 percent of the federal poverty level, and do not have four-year college degrees.

Similar patterns are evident among African American men. In the Philadelphia metropolitan area, for example, African Americans make up 33 percent of low-income men but only 19 percent of all men.

In the 16 metropolitan areas with the largest populations of low-income men, Hispanics represent a majority (at least 50 percent) of the low-income male population. For example, almost all low-income men are Hispanic in the McAllen (98 percent) and El Paso (91 percent) metropolitan areas; and close to three-quarters are Hispanic in the Los Angeles and San Antonio (72 percent) and Bakersfield- Delano (71 percent) metropolitan areas.

African American men represent at least a third of the low-income male population in nine metropolitan areas. In Memphis, they are a majority (59 percent); in the New Orleans (46 percent), Baltimore (44 percent), Virginia Beach (43 percent), and Detroit (39 percent) metropolitan areas, they are a sizeable share.

White men are the majority of the low-income male population in 13 metropolitan areas, including metros in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Kentucky, New York, Missouri, Oregon, and Tennessee. Their representation is highest in the Pittsburgh (77 percent), Cincinnati (70 percent), Columbus (65 percent), and Louisville (64 percent) metropolitan areas.

Hispanic low-income men tend to differ from white and African American low-income men in some characteristic ways. Hispanic low-income men tend to be slightly older on average. More Hispanics fall between the ages of 25 and 34 years old than white and African American men, who are somewhat more likely to be between 18 and 24 years old. And while rates vary across states, a higher proportion of low-income Hispanic men tends to be married. The share of married Hispanic men ranges from 41 percent in Pennsylvania to 52 percent in Texas. Among white low-income men, the married share ranges from 31 percent in California to 50 percent in Georgia. Among African American low-income men, the married share is lower, from 21 percent in California to 31 percent in Texas.

Also, unlike white and African American low-income men, the proportion of Hispanic low-income men that is US citizens varies widely across states. In North Carolina, 16 percent of low-income Hispanic men are US citizens. However, in Pennsylvania, 68 percent are US citizens.

Among low-income white and African American men, the majority in all states are US citizens. Among whites the share ranges from 94 percent in California to 99 percent in Ohio. Among African Americans the share ranges from 82 percent in New York to 99 percent in Michigan.

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