This article compares the lives of 10,000 boys who grew up in households of different socioeconomic statuses using census data. It explains the income gaps that exist in America between black and white men of the same backgrounds. The study found that white boys who come from rich families are likely to maintain this status through their life. But, black boys from rich families as well are more likely to be poor in their adulthood than stay wealthy like their white counterparts. The writers are able to convey the powerful findings of the study using very effective graphics and charts that enhance the statistics.
Below we see a snapshot from the graphic that follows 10,000 boys into their adulthood that come from rich families. On the left is where they started, as rich, and on the right, there are 5 categories into which they can fall: rich, upper-middle-class, middle-class, lower-middle-class, or poor. (White boys are represented by yellow squares, black boys are represented by blue squares)
The study took into account all different factors that could contribute to these gaps, including family structure. However, the gaps remain even when comparing boys raised in homes with the same family structure (one or two parents, parents’ marital status), with the same incomes, and education levels.
Included in the article are several other comparisons, including incarceration rates by household income rank and maps of the worst places for white and black children to grow up in terms of poverty. The latter revealed that the worst places for white children are even with the best places for black children. See below:
This article was very compelling in that it included personal stories to connect with the reader and put a face to the data. Additionally, the visualizations were incredibly powerful and appropriate for the data being displayed.