These 4 numbers show the dramatic racial economic inequality in the U.S.


It’s unimaginable to consider racial injustice in the U.S. with out taking a look at the distribution of {dollars}. 

In many ways in which Americans work to determine themselves financially — by means of the inventory market,  internet value and homeownership — Black households path White households.

“To put it simply, we don’t have a level playing field,” mentioned Evelyn Brodkin, an affiliate professor at the University of Chicago. “Economic opportunity depends on where we live, go to school and who we know.

“But these alternatives usually are not distributed equally by race.” 

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The recession brought on by the coronavirus pandemic will solely exacerbate racial inequality, mentioned Edward N. Wolff, an economics professor at New York University. Unemployment rates are already higher among Black Americans

 “The racial wealth hole goes to show an enormous upward spike over the pandemic,” Wolff predicted.

Here are four figures that show the stark racial economic inequality in the U.S., comparing White, Black and Hispanic households.

(Most of the calculations were provided by Wolff, and are based on data from The National Bureau of Economic Research in 2016, the most recent year for which it was available. He didn’t currently have access to data on Asian-Americans or other ethnic groups.) 

1. Homeownership 

More than 70% of White families own a house in the U.S., compared to just 44% of Black families and 45% of Hispanic families. 

White families have an average home value of $200,000 and Black families have an average home value of $54,000, compared to $73,000 for Hispanic families. 

“The historical past of insurance policies that supported discrimination in homeownership and racial segregation is properly documented,” mentioned Allan MacNeill, a professor at Webster University. “They embrace practices of redlining by banks, exclusionary housing covenants in white neighborhoods and government loan programs that explicitly denied loans to African-Americans.”

He added: “While these insurance policies might now not exist, wealth imbalances, as soon as created, are self-reinforcing and proceed throughout generations.” 

2. Stock ownership

More than 57% of White households own stocks, while just 30% of Black households and 27% of Hispanic families have equities, according to the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College.

White families have an average of $230,000 invested in the market, compared to $17,000 for Black households and $30,000 for Hispanic families.

“These figures are all elements of household wealth and they’re correlated and reinforce each other,” MacNeill said. “If you don’t have sufficient financial savings to afford to purchase a house and construct fairness, you additionally don’t have cash to take a position in the inventory market.” 

3. Student debt 

The student debt crisis has also been borne disproportionately by people of color

Around 85% of Black college graduates carry student debt, compared with 70% of White college graduates and 66% of Hispanic graduates, according to 

White college students graduate with an average of $30,000 in student loans, while Black graduates leave with $34,000 and Hispanic graduates with $25,000. 

4. Net worth 

In all, the average White household has a net worth of $875,600, while the average Black household has a net worth of $126,300. Hispanic families have a net worth of $166,000. 

Around 15% of White families have a zero or negative net worth, compared to nearly 40% of Black families and 30% of Hispanic households. 

“It is tough to think about considerably bettering the lives of Black Americans and addressing our lengthy historical past of racism with out a dedication to cut back excessive wealth inequality,” MacNeill mentioned. 

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