For 50 Years, There Has Been No Progress in Closing The Black-White Median Income Gap

The U.S. Census Bureau has released its annual report on income in the United States. According to data in the report, the median income of Black households in the United States in 2019 was $45,438. This is up from $42,110 in 2018. The median income figure shows the point where half of all families earn below this level and half earn above this level.

For non-Hispanic White households in 2019, the median income figure was $76,057, up from $71,992 in 2018. So while income levels increased for both Black and White households, the increase was more for Whites than for Blacks. Thus, the racial income gap widened. In 2019, the median Black household income was 59.7 percent of the median income of non-Hispanic White families. With only minor fluctuations, the racial gap in median income has remained virtually unchanged for more than a half-century.

It is also important to look at the racial gap in income at the highest levels. These families are ones that can afford to send their children to the college of their choice without having to worry about financial aid or student loans. Some 11.8 percent of non-Hispanic White households in 2019 had incomes above $200,000. For Black households, 4.6 percent had incomes of more than $200,000. Thus, Whites are far more likely as Blacks to come from high-income households.


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