White Families Now $95K Richer Than African-American Families On Average, According To New Study
Ryan McCarthy, Huffington Post, May 18, 2010
In the last 23 years, the gap between the average net worth of African-American families and white families has more than quadrupled, according to a new study by researchers at Brandeis University.
In examining data from 1984 to 2007, Brandeis’s Institute on Assets and Social Policy found that the average white family now has accumulated $95,000 more in total wealth than the average African-American family. One quarter of African-American families, the report notes, currently have no financial assets to protect themselves from financial ruin.
The report’s authors argue that, through a mixture of policy mistakes and discrimination, most of the wealth during that period flowed into the hands of white families.
In a study published last year, the University of California, Berkeley’s Emmanuel Saez found that income inequality in the U.S. had hit an all-time high in 2007. But the Brandeis study points to a “broken chain of achievement” among African-Americans that, even at relatively moderate levels of income, creates large disparities. (Read the full article)