Survey of Black Americans Finds a Range of Views on Finances, Including Fiscal Nearsightedness Among the Economically Disadvantaged
Black Americans Bear the Brunt of COVID-19’s Economic Fallout
It’s difficult to focus on long-term fiscal stability and building generational wealth when facing more immediate needs like paying bills, or having enough money for an emergency, especially if you’re a Black American bearing the brunt of COVID-19’s economic fallout. A recent survey by NORC and the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies on the current financial circumstances, aspirations, and barriers faced by Black Americans revealed that one in three adults says their post-pandemic economic situation is worse and that 8 in 10 are focused on meeting relatively immediate financial demands rather than longer-term goals. Despite not benefitting from the current economic recovery and focusing on the here and now, around two-thirds of respondents are somewhat confident about meeting basic expenses during retirement (66 percent) and believe they’re doing a good job preparing for it (60 percent).
We Included Black Americans Throughout Process of Our Community-Centric Survey
We consulted a broad swath of Black Americans at every step of the survey process, from crafting complex, interrelated questions to sharing the findings. This inclusion helped researchers discover a wide variety of financial attitudes and situations. These differing perspectives were often closely linked to income and education. For instance, respondents earning more than $60,000 per year or those with college degrees tended to be among the 45 percent who said their financial situation was good. This same group said they had a good or very good credit score. By contrast, only 16 percent of Black Americans who make $30,000 or less per year reported having good or very good credit scores.
The study also revealed that respondents consider systemic racism a more significant barrier to their personal and financial aspirations than interpersonal racism.
Researchers say the survey’s extensive, high-quality, actionable data fill a serious gap in national statistics and provide decision-makers with the information they need to connect Black Americans to essential economic opportunities.
This article is from our flagship newsletter, NORC Now. NORC Now keeps you informed of the full breadth of NORC’s work, the questions we help our clients answer, and the issues we help them address.