The Persisting Racial Income Gap: For African Americans, a Major Barrier to Equal Access to Higher Education

The U.S. Census Bureau reports that in 2009 the median household income for African-American families was $32,584. This means that half of all black households had incomes above this figure and half of black households had incomes below this threshold.

For non-Hispanic whites, the median income in 2009 was $54,461. Thus, the median income of black families in the United States was less than 60 percent of the median income of non-Hispanic white families. This ratio has remained relatively constant for about the past 40 years.

This large and stagnant income gap between black and white families remains for African Americans a major barrier to equal access to higher education in this country.