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Report: Black Median Wealth Will Drop To Zero By 2053

The study points to mass incarceration, housing discrimination and a tax system which only benefits the rich to blame for the drop.

A new report from the Institute of Policy Studies indicates a bleak future for the wealth of Black Americans.

“The Road To Zero Wealth: How The Racial Wealth Divide Is Hollowing Out America’s Middle Class” reports that the median wealth among Black Americans will be zero dollars by 2053.

The Guardian notes the country’s overall negligence in improving the financial state of Black Americans following slavery — compiled with the housing discrimination that took place thereafter — is the underlying cause for the report’s findings. The study itself also points to mass incarceration and a tax system only benefiting the rich as other crucial factors for the drop which will start to be seen as early as 2020.

“By 2020, median black and Latino households stand to lose nearly 18% and 12% of the wealth they held in 2013 respectively, while median white household wealth increases by 3%,” the report reads. “At that point – just three years from now – white households are projected to own 86 times more wealth than black households, and 68 times more wealth than Latino households.”

Another reason for the drastic decline to take place is the 2001 recession.

“Unfortunately home values don’t come back in the same way in black communities when things happen,” Baltimore financial coach and adviser Althea Saunders-Ranniar told The Guardian.

Asante Muhammad, one of the report’s authors, said there’s an antidote to the drastic wealth disparity in communities of color.

“You find first-generation, even second-generation African-American and Latino households that have professional jobs and are making ‘middle-income money’ – but they have the wealth of a white high-school dropout,” Muhammad said. “They’re not truly part of a middle class – which would mean financial stability, money to weather challenging economic situations, or money to invest in the economic opportunities of their children.”


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