Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Wealthiest 100 White families Own As Much Wealth As All of Black America Combined

*In a recent report the Institute for Policy Studies showed that the wealthiest 100 white households now own about as much wealth as the entire African American population in the United States.


This gap in access to wealth is built on the back of an American legacy of disenfranchisement that dates back to slavery. As I have shown here on Eurweb, a nuanced view of the Institute’s analysis shows “The 5 Largest U.S. Landowners Own More Land Than All of Black America Combined”.  In addition, the disparity doesn’t stop with top 100 wealthy white families, as I stated in my Huffington Post piece, “America’s Financial Divide: The Racial Breakdown of U.S. Wealth in Black and White”,

In total, there are just about 120 million American households. So when we talk about the top one percent, we are looking at the top 1.2 million households. Breaking the 120 million homes down by race, according to the U.S. Census, there are nearly 83 million white households, and there are just about 14 million black households.

Here is where the economic picture gets clearer. A few years ago when economic inequality was just becoming a national topic, theGrio supported by MSNBC, wrote a piece titled “Who are the Black 1%”. In this article, they showed that nearly 96.1 percent of the 1.2 million households in the top one percent by income were white, a total of about 1,150,000 households. In addition, these families were found to have a median net asset worth of $8.3 million dollars.

In stark contrast, in the same piece black households were shown as a mere 1.4 percent of the top one percent by income, that’s only 16,800 homes. In addition, their median net asset worth was just $1.2 million dollars. Using this data as an indicator only about 8,400 of the over 14 million African American households have more than $1.2 million dollars in net assets.


William Darity, Professor of Public Policy, African and African-American Studies and Economics at Duke University told the Duke Chronicle:

“The major sources of wealth for most of the super rich are inheritances and in life transfers. The big reason is racial differences in access to resources to transfer to the next generation.” Darity added that the practices of enslavement, violence, Jim Crow, discrimination and dispossession of property have kept generations of African Americans from accruing the type of wealth that whites in the top 1 percent have today.

The Urban Institute report further states:

  • The wealthiest 100 households now own about as much wealth as the entire African American population in the United States.
  • Among the Forbes 400, just 2 individuals are African American –­ Oprah Winfrey and Robert Smith.
  • America’s 20 wealthiest people — a group that could fit comfortably in one single Gulfstream G650 luxury jet –­ now own more wealth than the bottom half of the American population combined, a total of 152 million people in 57 million households.
  • The wealthiest 186 members of the Forbes 400 own as much wealth as the entire Latino population. Just five members of the Forbes 400 are Latino including Jorge Perez, Arturo Moreno, and three members of the Santo Domingo family.
  • With a combined worth of $2.34 trillion, the Forbes 400 own more wealth than the bottom 61 percent of the country combined, a staggering 194 million people.


Despite alternative views that try to look to lack of diversity in Silicone Valley, or lack of black businesses as the causation for this wealth gap. The reality is that it all stems from a legacy rooted out of America’s dark racial past, not just modern individual choices. Whether you look to the resource needed for elite advanced education to compete in Silicone Valley, or lack of support for black entrepreneurship these are all the results of our country’s long standing history.  The Institute for Policy studies numbers show the historical cost of blackness has left African Americans on the outside of access to the American dream.

Follow Antonio Moore @tonetalks to join the discussion.




    • Jesus did you read this, in that same article
      The wealthiest 186 members of the Forbes 400 own as much wealth as the entire Latino population. Just five members of the Forbes 400 are Latino including Jorge Perez, Arturo Moreno, and three members of the Santo Domingo family.

      It has been long been said that 3% of the population controls 97% of the world’s wealth wealth.,3% of the people in American control 97% of all the land available. Richest 1% to own half of world’s wealth by 2016

      In essence these people are richer than all of us Black,White,Latino,Asian combined if you are to believe this stat.


      • Even that is shortsighted. Great connected piece for people to get the real… Hip Hop and Basketball has made people think low skilled laborers have this chance like real life hungergames. http://www.alternet.org/economy/inequality-fundamental-us-capitalism-tweaking-edges-will-accomplish-nothing Income inequality is better termed structural racism. White people earn more money with less education than black people and consistently have half the unemployment of black people. And, as new research has shown, “family wealth” predicts outcomes for 10 to 15 generations. Those with extreme wealth owe it to events going back “300 to 450” years ago, according to research published by the New Republic – an era when it wasn’t unusual for white Americans to benefit from an economy dependent upon widespread, unpaid black labor in the form of slavery.

  1. Mr Depalma that is an ignorant and irrelevant comment. Be more constructive on Eurweb. When he is discussing white wealth it is in context of how the wealth were seeing is directly derived from black oppression. Learn more about where the wealth derives before commenting.

    • Shelly, there are 2 aspects here.. historical factors but also cultural factors where some communities are averse to saving and investing (like african americans & hispanic americans) whereas some other minorities (like asian-americans) have – within a generation – bridged the wealth gap.. What do you think accounts for that ?

  2. That is not the reason for the growing wealth disparity, your drinking the kool aid. What are you talking about? Asians save more so hence they have more. You should research economics to learn more about how money works this is the greatest aggregation of wealth in the history of the world. This is not at the individual level it is a systemic set of choices and policies.

    In addition there is no group other than blacks that went through chattel slavery, and had governmental laws so focused to make them fail economically like redlining. Lastly the Asians your looking at should be globally not just here in the US, as an example of all Chinese in China only 2% have a college degree. Yet, of the Chinese that get to come to America 50% have a college degree. We are taking from their top 1% of people that have the money to travel here, not from the general population so the sample your using includes people who save not because of culture, but rather economic strata.


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