Blacks Make Up a Tiny Percentage of the U.S. Families With the Highest Incomes: This Limits the Higher Education Opportunities of African Americans

Families at the top of the income pyramid in the United States have far more options in securing higher education for their children. When money is not an obstacle, students from high-income families have a wide range of options. They need not base their higher education decisions on geographic location, the availability of financial aid, or the economic strength of a particular college or university.

New census statistics show that families in the highest category are disproportionately white. In 2009, 4.4 percent of all white families in the United States had incomes of more than $200,000. For blacks, the figure was 1.2 percent. Thus, whites are 3.8 times as likely as blacks to have high incomes.

If we reduce the income threshold, we find that in 2009, 22.9 percent of white families had incomes higher than $100,000. For blacks, 9.3 percent of all families had incomes higher than $100,000.