IowaWatch published a report in 2013 that showed white Iowans making strong gains in high school and college graduation rates, lowering poverty levels, median family income and home ownership since 1960.
But black and Latino progress in these areas, the report and its use of U.S. Census data showed, had grown far more slowly. In some cases they declined, contributing to a widening opportunity gap among the races in a state that welcomes people to its “Fields of Opportunity.”
“The bootstrap mentality is a tough one to tell people when they never had the opportunity or the access,” Izaah Knox, associate executive director of Urban Dreams, a northern Des Moines human services group for disadvantaged people living in that low-income part of the state’s capitol city. He spoke in this new IowaWatch Connection radio report/podcast.
The census data, from 1960 through 2010 and originally analyzed and provided to IowaWatch by a Colorado-based nonprofit news organization, Rocky Mountain PBS I-News, showed that three of every four white Iowans owned a home when the 2010 Census was taken, up slightly from 1960.
Three of every 10 blacks, and half of the state’s Latinos owned a home in 2010. That was down from a peak in 1970 when just shy of three of every five black Iowans and a little more than three of every five Latinos in the state owned one.