Penn Economists Find a Large Drop in the Racial Happiness Gap

Economists at the University of Pennsylvania have found that African Americans in the United States have become significantly more happy than was the case in the 1970s. The study found that blacks, in general, remain less happy than whites but that the gap has narrowed significantly by about 40 percent.

The researchers conclude that a reduction in prejudice and discrimination and increased opportunities for blacks in education and employment are reasons for a reduction in the happiness gap. Another reason the gap is closing is because the level of happiness among whites has declined.

The research did show that the happiness of young black males has not increased. High levels of unemployment and incarceration among young black males were cited for the reasons that happiness levels among this group have not improved.