Whites Have More Wealth Than Blacks And Hispanics With Similar Incomes

Yesterday, I calculated racial wealth levels by educational attainment. The headline finding was that the least educated whites have a higher median wealth than the most educated blacks and hispanics. As a follow up, I thought I'd share similar data, but this time controlled by income rather than education.

Here is median family wealth by race and income percentile:

For those not familiar with income percentiles, 0-19 means families whose incomes put them in the bottom 20% of the national income distribution. On the other side of the graph, 90-100 means families whose incomes put them in the top 10% of the national income distribution. And so on.

As you'd expect, families with higher incomes have more wealth. As you can kind of see, white families have much more wealth than black and hispanic families even when they are in the same income groups. White families in the top 10% of the income distribution have a rather unbelievable median wealth of $1.2 million.

Since the bottom is so hard to make out in the above graph, here is a second one that displays the same data in a slightly different fashion:

What I have done is divided median black and hispanic wealth by median white wealth for every income group. So, for instance, the bar furthest to the left says that blacks in the bottom 20% of the national income distribution have a median wealth that is just 10.6% of the median wealth of whites in the same income group. The bar furthest to the right says that hispanics in the top 10% of the national income distribution have a median wealth that is just 27% of the median wealth of whites in the same income group. And so on.

Overall you can see that blacks and hispanics have far less wealth than whites within every income group. On average, black median wealth is 25.7% of white median wealth, while hispanic median wealth is 31.2% of white median wealth. These percentages are far higher than the overall racial disparity because they only compare families with similar incomes, while the overall racial disparity figures compare all families at once. Nonetheless, even this income-controlled wealth disparity measurement reveals massive inequality.

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