Whites Are 5 Times Richer Than Blacks, Study Finds
Posted on May 17, 2010
A study out of Brandeis University has determined that white Americans have roughly five times the wealth of black Americans of similar class, owing largely to greater economic opportunity. The results are worse than expected and suggest that America is backsliding in an important indicator of racial equality.
Shapiro says one of the most disturbing aspects of the study is that wealth among the highest-income African-Americans has actually fallen in recent years, dropping from a peak of $25,000 to about $18,000, while among white counterparts of similar class and income it has surged to around $240,000.
In 1984, high-income black Americans had more assets than middle-income whites. That is no longer true.
“I’m a pretty jaded and cynical researcher in some way, but this was shocking, quite frankly, a really important dynamic,” said Shapiro. “This represents a broken chain of achievement. In the United States context, when we are thinking about racial equality and the economy we have focused for a long time on equal opportunity.
Flickr / JMRosenfeld (CC-BY)