Study Reveals Racial Wealth Gap Widening

The difference between the net worth of the median white and Black household nearly tripled in 25 years.

Posted: 02/27/2013 03:55 PM EST
Study Reveals Racial Wealth Gap Widening

A Brandeis University study has found that the income gap between white and Black households nearly tripled between 1984 and 2009. While the median white household reported net earnings of up to $265,000 by 2009, an average Black household earned only $28,500.

"The gap presents an opportunity denied for many African-American households and assures racial economic inequality for the next generation," study co-author Tatjana Meschede said in a statement. 

The study "The Roots of the Widening Racial Wealth Gap: Explaining the Black-White Economic Divide," which followed 1,700 households over a 25-year period, notes that some of the factors creating the wealth divide include higher wages, homeownership, college degrees and inheritances among whites while African-Americans have higher unemployment rates.

Public policies also play a role, said Dr. Thomas Shapiro, a principal author of the report.  

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(Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images)

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