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Black Families’ Wealth Grew Substantially In 3-Year Period, Report Shows

REUTERS/Jim Bourg

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Amber Randall Civil Rights Reporter

Minority households showed great improvements in household wealth during a recent three-year period, according to data released Wednesday.

The Federal Reserve released its Survey of Consumer Finances, which details the debt, income, among other things, of 6,000 respondents, reports The Washington Post Wednesday. A major find in the report is that black, Hispanic and non-white households, as well as people who only have a high school diploma, had the most significant gains in household wealth from 2013-2016.

“Families without a high school diploma and nonwhite and Hispanic families experienced larger proportional gains in incomes than other families between 2013 and 2016, although more-educated families and white non-Hispanic families continue to have higher incomes than other families,” the report noted.

Black families saw their median income grow by 10 percent and their mean income increase by 22 percent, while Hispanic families’ median income increased by 15 percent and their mean income shot up by 26 percent. Despite these gains, the Federal Reserve pointed out that white families still have significantly more wealth than their minority counterparts.

“Despite nonwhite and Hispanic families experiencing relatively larger proportional gains, disparities between white non-Hispanic families and nonwhite and Hispanic families persist: Median incomes for white non-Hispanic families are between 20 and 75 percent higher than for families in all nonwhite and Hispanic group,” the report said.

Wealthy families also made huge strides during the three-year period, after most minority groups saw their wealth decrease between 2010-2013.

“Data from the 2016 SCF indicate that the shares of income and wealth held by affluent families have reached historically high levels since the modern SCF began in 1989. The share of income received by the top 1 percent of families was 20.3 percent in 2013 and rose to 23.8 percent in 2016,” the report said.

The Federal Reserve cited marriage, education levels and inheritance as reasons for why white people had more wealth than their minority counterparts.

“Among the potential reasons that wealth is relatively high among white households, for example, is that they tend to be older, more highly educated, more likely to have received an inheritance, and less likely to be a single parent than their black and Hispanic counterparts,” the Federal Reserve stated.

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