Breaking the Cycle of Poverty Among Multicultural Families


By: Alejandro Martinez, Market Intelligence Strategist

Forty-seven million people are currently living in poverty in the U.S. Those more likely to be poor are Blacks and Hispanics, which make up a disproportionate majority (9.7% of Non-Hispanic Whites live in poverty vs. 25% of Hispanics, and 27% of Blacks). This is very concerning because these two minorities will make up 32% of the population by 2050. Even more concerning is that poverty can also become a multi-generational issue, where children who grow up poor are more likely to be poor as adults.

The government spends millions of dollars trying to help, but results are marginal at best. A more innovative approach to breaking the cycle of poverty is the two-generation approach. It gives children access to high-quality education early on and simultaneously helps parents get better jobs. On one end, children with early high-quality education are more likely to attend college. On the other end, parents are more likely to get a better job if they can get access to career training/education programs. Parents would also get support if they don’t have anyone else to help with the kids or can’t afford daycare while they are at school. In essence, a program that focuses on the parent’s work life as well as the children’s needs will have more chances of success for both. In the long run, this approach can be much more productive and cost efficient than current welfare programs.

Additional resources:

A Different Approach to Breaking the Cycle of Poverty 

The Diversity of Hispanic Child Poverty

Rich School, Poor School

Minority Children Four Times More Likely to Start Poor, Stay Poor