Stanford University Report Documents Persisting Racial Inequality in the United States

The Center on Poverty and Inequality at Stanford University has issued the latest edition of its State of the Union report. The study finds that despite gains in educational attainments for African Americans and other underrepresented groups, profound and persisting inequalities exist in the United States in areas such as employment, health and housing.

Some key indicators in the report are:

  • Only 41 percent of Black families live in owner-occupied housing compared to 71 percent of White families.
  • The median earnings of Black men are 32 percent lower than the median earnings of White men.
  • Over the past 40 years, the racial earnings gap among men has narrowed by only seven percentage points.
  • For every $1 in wealth owned by White families, Black families hold 8 cents.
  • In every month since January 2000, the employment rate for Black men has been at least 11 percent lower than the rate for White men.

The authors of the report conclude that “the deck is stacked against Blacks because they are dealt an immediate ‘one-two punch’ at the very moment of birth. They are not just more likely to be born into families with less wealth, education, and income, but they are also more likely to live in poor neighborhoods where high-quality schools are more difficult to find, crime is high, and other amenities are unavailable.


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