Since 1983, black households in the United States have accumulated, on average, seven times less wealth than their white counterparts. And that gap doesn’t appear to be closing anytime soon.
A new report released Monday by the Institute for Policy Studies and the Corporation for Enterprise Development found that the racial wealth gap has grown steadily and, without changes to public policy, could widen over the course of decades. This divide was “no accident,” the report’s authors wrote, arguing that it arose as a result of both tax programs that have favored the wealthy and long-standing policies that kept communities of color from building wealth. “[I]t is clear from the past three decades that our vision for racial equity will be impossible to achieve if we continue perpetuating an economic system that fails to prioritize the ability of households of color to get by, much less ahead,” they wrote.
Here’s what the racial wealth gap looks like today—and how it could look 30 years down the line.