Black Experience

Average Wealth Among Black Families Less than 15 Percent of White Families: Report

The average Black family claimed less than 15 percent of the wealth of their white counterparts, the Federal Reserve said Monday.

A Fed survey conducted every three years also showed that while the median wealth of white families was $188,200 compared with only $24,100 for Black families, the gap was attributed to “many complex societal, governmental, and individual factors that play out over the life cycle and across generations,” Politico reported.

Included among those factors is that more young white families can get financial assistance for a down payment on a house from their parents than young Black or Hispanic families.

“In addition to direct transfers or gifts, families can make investments in their children that indirectly increase their wealth,” according to a Fed paper on the survey results, Politico reported. “Families can invest in their children’s educational success by paying for college or private schools, which can in turn increase their children’s ability to accumulate wealth.

“For these reasons, wealth (or a lack thereof) can persist across generations and reflect, among other factors, a legacy of discrimination or unequal treatment in housing, education, and labor markets,” the Fed paper added.

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