The Wealth Gap Widens: Without Change People of Color Will Never Close the Gap


Key findings of a new study of the racial wealth gap released this week by the Institute for Policy Studies show that failing to make significant changes in the economy will “drive the racial wealth divide for centuries to come.”

Our current period of economic turmoil has done nothing to quell the racial wealth gap between whites and people of color that has existed for centuries. The Institute for Policy Studies says that the gap will never be closed with significant policy change.

The study looked at trends in households wealth from 1983 to 2013. During this time members of the Forbes 400 list saw their net worth increase by an average of 736 percent, significantly widening the gap between rich and poor, whites and people of color.

If the trend continues for another 30 year time period the average white family’s net worth will grow by $18,000 a year while the average black household will see a growth of $750 and the average Hispanic household will grow by $2,250.

Some incredible key points of the study include:

Over the past 30 years the average wealth of white families has grown by 84%—1.2 times the rate of growth for the Latino population and three times the rate of growth for the black population.

Over the past 30 years, the wealth of the Forbes 400 richest Americans has grown by an average of 736%—10 times the rate of growth for the Latino population and 27 times the rate of growth for the black population.

By 2043—the year in which it is projected that people of color will make up a majority of the U.S. population— the wealth divide between white families and Latino and black families will have doubled.

If average black family wealth continues to grow at the same pace it has over the past three decades, it would take black families 228 years to amass the same amount of wealth white families have today.

You can view the full report here.


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