black economic history

Sobering Truth: Black Households Lose Half Of Wealth Despite Having College Degrees

Sobering Truth: Black Households Lose Half Of Wealth Despite Having College Degrees

BY:  John “Hennry” Harris

In America, education has always been pushed as the great equalizer in the path for success, especially for Blacks and the Black community as a whole.

However, a new study shows that Black households headed by college graduates have actually lost half of their wealth over the last 20 years when compared to White counterparts.

The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis found that the wealth of Blackmoney families headed by college graduates have fallen drastically between 1992-2013.  There were three major recessions during this time period, yet the median net worth of White households headed by a college graduate increased by an eye-catching 86%.

Asian families led by a college graduate actually seen their median incomes rise the most seeing their wealth rise by 90%, while Hispanic families led by a college graduate lost a disheartening 72% of their wealth.

The recessions saw middle-American wealth erode due to the crashlosehouse in the housing market in which Hispanics were more heavily invested in housing compared to Blacks.

Black and Hispanic college households sank more of their money into the family homes and had to watch that wealth disappear during the “Great Recession”.  There is a glaring disparity when compared to White college graduates whose homes declined by only 25% during the economic meltdown.

The high costs of education, normally paid for by student loans, coupled with the housing market collapse crushed Black and Hispanic wealth, but there are more factors that come into play.

The lack of affluent relatives and a job market riddled with racism neutralized any benefits or protection a college degree could provide during economic downturns.medianwealthreturn

Surprisingly, Black households headed by people without college degrees only seen their wealth decline by less than 4%, however, this is only because they had less to lose.  The last recession saw the Black median household wealth shrink to one-twentieth of White families.

The study revealed the obvious – that “higher education alone cannot level the playing field.”  The sobering truth is that it is statistically impossible to reach economic parity with Whites, regardless of education, until there is an overhaul of the current system mired in systematic racism.


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