Brandeis University Research Shows the Racial Wealth Gap Has Expanded

Family wealth continues to be a major source of money for college. Families often use financial assets or the equity in their home to secure loans to pay comprehensive fees that can now be more than $50,000 per year.

A new study by researchers at the Institute on Assets and Social Policy at Brandeis University finds that the wealth gap between black and white families quadrupled in the 1984 to 2007 period. The data shows that the wealth gap increased from $20,000 in 1984 to $95,000 in 2007.

The Brandeis research finds that, when home equity value is excluded, the median wealth for white families is $100,000. This is 20 times the median wealth in financial assets for black families, which stood at $5,000 in 2007.

The study found that for middle-class white families, the median wealth in 2007 was $74,000. This was an increase of more than 300 percent from 1987. For middle-class blacks, the median wealth in 2007 was $18,000. This was down from $25,000 in 1987.

The report, The Racial Wealth Gap Increases Fourfold, can be downloaded by clicking here.