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Wealth inequality between blacks and whites worsens
Whites have accumulated far more wealth than blacks, according to a new Brandeis University study.
February 27th, 2013
09:00 AM ET

Wealth inequality between blacks and whites worsens

By Tami Luhby @CNNMoney

(CNNMoney) - The wealth gap between blacks and whites has nearly tripled over the past 25 years, due largely to inequality in home ownership, income, education and inheritances, according to a new study by Brandeis University.

That type of inequality can be a drag on economic growth for everyone, said Thomas Shapiro, director of the university's Institute on Assets and Social Policy, which conducted the research.

The difference in wealth between typical households in each racial group ballooned to $236,500 in 2009, up from $85,000 in 1984, according to the study, released Wednesday. By 2009, the median net worth of white families was $265,000, while blacks had only $28,500.

Brandeis researchers looked at the same set of 1,700 families over the 25-year period to see how their actual work and school experiences affected their wealth accumulation.

What they found is that home ownership is driving the growing gap. Price appreciation is more limited in non-white neighborhoods, making it harder for blacks to build equity. Also, because whites are more likely to have family financial assistance for down payments, they are able to buy homes an average of eight years earlier than black families and to put down larger upfront payments that lower interest rates and mortgage costs.

The home ownership rate for whites is 28% higher than that of blacks.

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Filed under: Black in America • Economy • History • How we live
soundoff (One Response)
  1. AL

    I live in San francisco Bay area. I make 1400 and a couple more hundred if i put over time. I am 23 and just dropped college because I just cant afford more debt and my college fee. My rent is 1375 and its a small apartment which I share with 2 other room maters. If I don't graduate i don't have a chance to have a better living and If I put less hours on my work I can't even buy food on my table. I guess this is the not just my situation but also of many others. There is this cycle which will eventually lead less graduates and a failed America. Affording health insurance and paying car insurance is something I don't even bother to think about. Its not about trying I did that. I worked over night and went straight to school in the morning and tried that for a semester. It doesn't help you do either one. Eventually I did quit college. This summer I am planning to go fishing in Alaska. I heard they make good money and the new guys get like 6%. Tried everything, so what the heck lets give it a shot.

    March 24, 2013 at 4:20 am | Report abuse |