As has been shown time and time again, African American families have been the biggest losers in the current economy. Black unemployment, for example, has been in the 16 percent range for more than two years, with dim prospects for improvement. The poor economic position of African Americans is most evidence with regards to overall wealth – as this new chart from the Economic Policy Institute shows, black wealth has seen a precipitous decline since 2007, to a 20-year low.
EPI’s Lawrence Mishel explains, “Wealth for the median black household has nearly disappeared, falling from $6,300 in 1983 to $2,200 in 2009 – a decrease of more than 65 percent. This means half of black households have less than $2,200 in wealth. Among white households, median wealth has fallen substantially since 2007, but at $97,900, remains higher than the 1983 level of $94,100. White median wealth is now 44.5 times higher than black median wealth.”
As our economy – driven by an austerity-minded political system – continues to bifurcate into a playground for the rich and a wasteland for everyone else, expect the racial wealth gap to become even more egregious.