Meet the Researcher Dispelling Old Myths About the Racial Wealth Gap

Tuesday, April 24, 2018
Pacific Standard

In 2016, the average white family in America held about $919,000 of wealth. The average black family, by contrast, held just $140,000; the average Hispanic family held only $192,000. What's worse, this disparity has remained essentially unchanged since the early 1960s.

In a report published last week, researchers from the Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity at Duke University highlight and dispel 10 of the the most pernicious and damaging myths surrounding the racial wealth gap, most notably the following three:

  • More education or more work effort can close the racial wealth gap.
  • Saving more, or making better financial decisions, can close the racial wealth gap.
  • Family structure, namely the higher rates of single motherhood among African Americans, is driving the racial wealth gap.

To learn more about the inaccuracies of these myths, we spoke with William Darity, one of the report's authors and a public policy professor at Duke University.

Read the full interview here.