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The black-white economic divide is as wide as it was in 1968 14 charts show how deep the economic gap is and how little it has changed in decades. The covid-19 recession is also hitting black families and business owners far harder than whites.

The Washington Post, (04.06.2020), von Heather Long and Andrew Van Dam

As Black Lives Matter protests grow across the nation over policing, the deep economic inequalities that African Americans face are coming to the forefront.

In many ways, the gap between the finances of blacks and whites is still as wide in 2020 as it was in 1968, when a run of landmark civil rights legislation culminated in the Fair Housing Act in response to centuries of unequal treatment of African Americans in nearly every part of society and business.

In the decades since, white wealth has soared while black wealth has stagnated. Many have pointed out the far larger share of white millionaires than black, but even among the middle class, the inequities are stark.

In 1968, a typical middle-class black household had $6,674 in wealth compared with $70,786 for the typical middle-class white household, according to data from the historical Survey of Consumer Finances that has been adjusted for inflation. In 2016, the typical middle-class black household had $13,024 in wealth versus $149,703 for the median white household, an even larger gap in percentage terms.

“The historical data reveal that no progress has been made in reducing income and wealth inequalities between black and white households over the past 70 years,” wrote economists Moritz Kuhn, Moritz Schularick and Ulrike I. Steins in their analysis of U.S. incomes and wealth since World War II.

1 in 7 white families are now millionaires. For black families, it’s 1 in 50.

As of 2016, the most recent year for which data is available, you would have to combine the net worth of 11.5 black households to get the net worth of a typical white U.S. household.

“Everybody knows that people of color are at an incredible economic disadvantage, but few realize it’s as bad or worse than it was before Civil Rights,” said Karen Petrou, managing partner of Federal Financial Analytics. “Black Lives Matter has shown that we don’t have Selma Bridge anymore, but the situation today is profoundly troubling.”

Wealth takes into account not just the wages that people earn for work, but homes, stock-market investments and other assets they have. More wealth makes for more a comfortable, safer living. And, more importantly, it is passed on to the next generation. Their parents’ wealth gives many white children a boost at birth, an advantage many of their black peers lack.

African Americans are struggling more economically from this pandemic

Higher education has long been touted as a ticket to the middle class, but for black Americans that has not been as true as one might hope. The typical black household headed by someone with an advanced degree has less wealth than a white household with only a high school diploma.

The wealth gap is even more pronounced among less-educated Americans. A white household whose head has only a high school diploma has almost 10 times the wealth of a black family with the same education. The fact that black families start off with so much less wealth makes it difficult to catch up, research has found.

Full article here