By Talis Shelbourne

March 28, 2022

A new report is highlighting how much the Great Recession widened racial wealth gaps, particularly on the basis of income and homeownership.

“Racial Disparities in Household Wealth Following the Great Recession,” authored by University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill professor Fenaba R. Addo and Duke University Professor William A. Darity Jr., found that Black and Latino households continue to lag behind white households in wealth and income statistics.

The report was published this month through the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Institute for Research on Poverty and used Survey on Consumer Finances data to come to its conclusions.

Here are some of the key findings:

  • For households in the bottom 20% of income distribution, white households held a median average of $26,340 in assets compared with $1,900 in the assets of Black families.
  • By 2019, white working-class households had nearly triple the median wealth of Black professional-class households (and almost six times the wealth of Black working-class households).
  • Black heads of household with a college degree, on average, have only two-thirds of the net worth of white heads of household who never finished high school.
  • Prior to the recession, the net worth of white households was eight times that of Black households. Following the “recovery” period, the net worth of white households was 10 times the net worth of Black households.