September 2017

Bridging the Racial Generation Gap Is Key to America's Economic Future

Overview

In 2015, 78 percent of America’s seniors were white while 49 percent of the nation’s youth were people of color—a phenomenon that we call the racial generation gap. If predominantly white seniors choose not to invest in a more racially diverse young population, this could hamstring the development of the next generation and the nation's economic future. This brief examines the growth of the racial generation gap and its effect on per-child k-12 education spending. We find that every percentage-point increase in the racial generation gap is associated with a decrease in state and local per-child education spending of around 1.5 percent. Given this relationship, it is critical to ensure equitable school funding, invest in youth beyond school, and build multi-generational communities and coalitions for change. Download the brief or data.

Media: Future of America's Baby Boomers Depends on Our Diverse Youth (The Hill), America's 'Racial Generation Gap' Is Starting to Shrink (The Atlantic)

Authors

Sarah Treuhaft
Sarah Treuhaft