The Black Elite: A Look Inside Black America’s Widening Wealth Gap

Wealthiest blacks distinguishing themselves from all others

(Image: File)
(Image: File)

As high earning black households make income gains faster than other groups, it’s interesting to note the wealth dynamics taking place within the black community and the widening wealth gap between the ‘black elite,’ and other African Americans.

[Related: Why Women Should Save Money Differently Than Men]

A study by Credit Suisse Research, and The Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University found that:

  • The top 10% of African Americans accounted for 67% of wealth held by all African Americans
  • Compare that to the top 10% of white Americans who account for 51% of that group’s wealth

The study also found that the top 5% of African Americans—those with a median net worth of $739,000, are pulling away from blacks and other groups and are also:

  • 47 times greater than the median wealth for all African Americans
  • 6 times greater than the median for white households

Top earners in the black community also distinguish themselves when it comes to education. “Higher income and higher net worth African American families have been still able and willing to invest in education to a higher extent than the equivalent segments of the white American population,” say study researchers.

In fact:

  • Almost 69% of the top 5% of African Americans have a higher education degree
  • That compares to 36% for the African American population as a whole
  • And 41% for the white American population

“With generally fewer inheritances, and less extensive family wealth, the top 5% of African Americans have relied on better education as a way to achieve financial security,” they add.

Researchers also find the ‘household make-up’ of wealthy black families to be different from other groups.

  • 64% of the top 5% of African Americans are married or live with a partner
  • 39% for the African American population as a whole live with a partner or are married
  • 19% of the top 5% of African American households are headed by women
  • 43% of all African American households are headed by women

The study also found that higher wealth households among blacks and whites are less likely to have children living at home.



2 Responses to The Black Elite: A Look Inside Black America’s Widening Wealth Gap

  1. Pingback: The Black Elite: A Look Inside Black America’s Widening Wealth Gap | Blackpride.in

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