The wealth gap between white and black families has exploded over the past 25 years, affecting the comfort of black families, the viability of black neighborhoods and the opportunities of successive generations of African-American young people, according to a fascinating new study by Brandeis University’s Institute on Assets and Policies.
Brandeis followed up a 2009 survey of American households—which found that the medial wealth of white families was $113,149 compared with $6,325 for Latino families and $5,677 for black families—by tracing the same set of 1,700 working Americans households over 25 years, from 1984 to 2009. The researchers found over that period, the wealth gap between white and black families nearly tripled, increasing from $85,000 in 1984 to $236,500 in 2009.
For each dollar in income increase during these years, white wealth grew $5.19 while black wealth growth amounted to 69 cents.
Perhaps the most fascinating aspect of the survey was the revelation of that the wealth gap is created by entrenched institutional factors connected to race and racism. The researchers found equal achievements, such as income gains, yield unequal wealth rewards for whites and African-Americans. (Atlanta Black Star)
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