Simply stated, the relationship between race and poverty is that people of color are statistically more likely to live below the poverty line than whites in the United States. By some estimates, four times more African-Americans fall below the poverty line than whites, and study after study shows that the economic downturn of the last four years disproportionately affected African-Americans. This relationship, many scholars and civil rights advocates argue, is either the direct consequence of racism, both historical and in the present-day.
The relationship between gender and poverty has often been described by sociologists as the "femininization of poverty." In the United States, it remains the case that women, on average, earn less than men. It is also the case that women are disproportionately more likely to be single parents. These two factors, combined with several others mean that women are disproportionately more likely to live below the poverty line.