Black Americans are failing to climb the social ladder, while a worrying number born into the middle classes are now actually poorer than their parents, according to a study .
The report found blacks were missing out on a cherished American dream that their children will be economically better off.
"Children from middle- and upper middle-class black families experience a generational drop in income that is in sharp contrast to the traditional American expectation that each generation will do better than the one that came before it,"
Two out of three Americans who were children in 1968 grow up to have higher income than their parentsbut less than a third of black children born in the middle classes do better financially than their parents.
Being born into a financially secure home is no guarantee of dying in one, with blacks enjoying significantly less economic protection than white peers .
"A startling 45 percent of black children whose parents were solidly middle income end up falling to the bottom income quintile, while only 16 percent of white children born to parents in the middle make this descent,"
Median black family incomes in 2004 were $35,000, compared with $60,000 for whites of similar age, and almost one-quarter of blacks live below federally defined poverty lines, three times more than whites. There has been the decline in the relative economic well-being of black men , which got worse between 1974 and 2004. In fact, black men now in their 30s earn roughly 12 percent less than their fathers' generation.
"In terms of absolute, relative and integrated mobility measures, white children have substantially more upward mobility than black children of comparable incomes,"