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Closing the Racial Wealth Gap

A smart approach to finances can narrow the economic disparities between black and white women.

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How is it possible that one-fourth of black women do not possess bank accounts, and that single black women have a median wealth of $100, as compared to $41,500 for single white women?

A new report from the Insight Center for Community Economic Development probes the depths of economic inequality in the United States. In "Lifting As We Climb: Women of Color, Wealth, and America's Future," the research team at the Insight Center uncovered some shocking statistics about black women and their pursuit of wealth. Some of the horrifying statistics:


Nearly half of all single black and Hispanic women have zero or negative wealth, the latter occurring when debts exceed assets.


Black and Hispanic single mothers with children under age 18 have a median wealth of zero.

Prior to age 50, women of color have virtually no wealth.

Home ownership comprises the bulk of wealth for middle-class families, but only 33 percent of black women are homeowners.

Only 23 percent of black women own stock.

Only 4 percent of unmarried black women own businesses.

The median salary for a black women working full-time is $31,035 annually, compared to $35,652 for black men, $36,398 for white women and $50,139 for white men.