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Investing Specialists

75 Must-Know Statistics About Race, Income, and Wealth

Income and wealth disparities along racial lines have repercussions for all aspects of life in the U.S.: education, health, homeownership, retirement, and life expectancy.

Racial inequality in the United States has many dimensions, but one of the most impactful and broad-ranging is economic. On average, people of color experience significantly lower levels of income, retirement savings, and rates of homeownership than white Americans. Those shortfalls contribute mightily to other ill effects: poorer healthcare outcomes, lower educational attainment, and shorter life expectancies, for example.

Making strides toward improving these issues, let alone solving them, is far from simple. But a key first step is acknowledging and understanding the magnitude of the problem. And if there's a single positive associated with financial inequality along racial lines, it's that it's incredibly easy to demonstrate with data.

Here are some key statistics about the impact of the racial divide for income, savings, and overall financial well-being.

Income

  • $41,692: Real median household income, African-American households in the U.S., 2018.
  • $70,742: Real median household income, non-Hispanic white households in the U.S., 2018.
  • $51,450: Real median household income, Hispanic households in the U.S., 2018.
  • $87,194: Real median household income, Asian households in the U.S., 2018.
  • -2.1%: Real income growth between 2007-18, African-American households in the U.S.
  • 2.3%: Real income growth between 2007-18, non-Hispanic white households in the U.S.
  • 13.1%: Real income growth between 2007-18, Hispanic households in the U.S.
  • 0.7%: Real income growth between 2007-18, Asian households in the U.S.
  • $0.59: The amount earned by the median black household for every $1 earned by the median white household in the U.S., 2018.
  • $0.73: The amount earned by the median Hispanic household for every $1 earned by the median white household in the U.S., 2018.

Poverty

  • 20.8%: Poverty rate among African-Americans, 2018.
  • 10.1%: Poverty rate among whites, 2018.
  • 17.6%: Poverty rate among Hispanics, 2018.
  • 10.1%: Poverty rate among Asians, 2018.
  • 32.0%: Poverty rate among African-American children (under 18), 2018.
  • 11.0%: Poverty rate among non-Hispanic white children (under 18), 2018.
  • 26.0%: Poverty rate among Hispanic children (under 18), 2018.
  • 18.9%: Poverty rate among African-American people age 65 and above, 2018.
  • 7.3%: Poverty rate among white people age 65 and above, 2018.
  • 19.5%: Poverty rate among Hispanic people age 65 and above, 2018.
  • 25.0%: Poverty rate among African-American women age 65 and above, 2012.
  • 14.0%: Poverty rate among white women age 65 and above, 2012.
  • 31.0%: Poverty rate among Hispanic women age 65 and above, 2012.

Household Net Worth

  • $16,300: Median household net worth, all African-American households, 2016.
  • $162,770: Median household net worth, all white households, 2016.
  • $21,360: Median household net worth, Hispanic households, 2016.
  • $102,000: Median household net worth, all other, 2016.
  • $10,010: Median household net worth, African-American households where household head completed high school only, 2016.
  • $100,600: Median household net worth, white households where household head completed high school only, 2016.
  • $26,800: Median household net worth, Hispanic households where household head completed high school only, 2016.
  • $52,301: Median household net worth, all other households where household head completed high school only, 2016.
  • $68,300: Median household net worth, African-American households where household head has college degree, 2016.
  • $391,000: Median household net worth, white households where household head has college degree, 2016.
  • $73,910: Median household net worth, Hispanic households where household head has college degree, 2016.
  • $368,600: Median household net worth, all other households where household head has college degree, 2016.

Retirement/Retirement Assets

  • 41%: Percentage of African-American families with retirement savings, 2016.
  • 68%: Percentage of white families with retirement savings, 2016.
  • 35%: Percentage of Hispanic families with retirement savings, 2016.
  • 26%: Percentage of African-American families with retirement savings, 1989.
  • 57%: Percentage of white families with retirement savings, 1989.
  • 22%: Percentage of Hispanic families with retirement savings, 1989.
  • $29,200: Median savings for African-American families age 32–61 with retirement account savings, 2016.
  • $79,500: Median savings for white families age 32–61 with retirement account savings, 2016.
  • $23,000: Median savings for Hispanic families age 32–61 with retirement account savings, 2016.
  • 33%: Percentage of African-American families participating in a 401(k)-style defined-contribution plan, 2016.
  • 51%: Percentage of non-Hispanic white families participating in a 401(k)-style defined-contribution plan, 2016.
  • 28%: Percentage of Hispanic families participating in a a 401(k)-style defined-contribution plan, 2016.
  • 17%: Percentage of African-American families covered by a pension, 2016.
  • 21%: Percentage of non-Hispanic white families covered by a pension, 2016.
  • 13%: Percentage of Hispanic families covered by a pension, 2016.
  • 33%: Percentage of African-Americans age 65 and older for whom Social Security is their sole source of retirement income.
  • 18%: Percentage of whites age 65 and older for whom Social Security is their sole source of retirement income.
  • 40%: Percentage of Hispanics age 65 and older for whom Social Security is their sole source of retirement income.
  • 85%: The average monthly Social Security retirement benefit for African-Americans as a percentage of the average benefit for white retirees.

Homeownership

  • 44%: Rate of homeownership among African-American households, 2020.
  • 74%: Rate of homeownership among non-Hispanic white households, 2020.
  • 49%: Rate of homeownership among Hispanic households, 2020.
  • $56,000: Median home equity, African-American homeowners. 2015.
  • $100,000: Median home equity, white homeowners, 2015.
  • $65,000: Median home equity, Hispanic homeowners.

Education

  • 24%: Percentage of African-American population with a bachelor's degree or higher, 2017.
  • 38%: Percentage of white population with a bachelor's degree or higher, 2017.
  • 17%: Percentage of Hispanic population with a bachelor's degree or higher, 2017.
  • $23,400: Average amount of student-loan debt at graduation for African-American students who have earned their bachelor's degrees.
  • $16,000: Average amount of student-loan debt at graduation for white students who have earned their bachelor's degrees.
  • $52,726: Average amount of student-loan debt four years after graduation for African-American college graduates.
  • $28,006: Average amount of student-loan debt four years after graduation for white college graduates.
  • 40%: Percentage of African-American college graduates who take on debt to pay for graduate school.
  • 22%: Percentage of white college graduates who take on debt to pay for graduate school.

Life Expectancy

  • 77.9 years: Life expectancy at birth, African-American women, 2016.
  • 71.5 years: Life expectancy at birth, African-American men, 2016.
  • 81.0 years: Life expectancy at birth, white women, 2016.
  • 76.1 years: Life expectancy at birth, white men, 2016.
  • 84.2 years: Life expectancy at birth, Hispanic women, 2016.
  • 79.1 years: Life expectancy at birth, Hispanic men, 2016.