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Racial Disparities in Household Wealth Following the Great Recession

Fenaba Addo and William A. (Sandy) Darity, Jr. evaluate household wealth among Black Americans throughout the Great Recession’s recovery period. Persistent racial wealth gaps in the United States highlight the ongoing need to examine economic conditions at a scale more robust than traditional income-based measures.


  • Persistent generational wealth gaps are a defining feature of racial inequality in the United States.
  • The fragility of Black households’ middle-class status becomes increasingly evident when seen through the lens of household wealth rather than income alone.
  • Wealth accumulation is transformative across households and generations; supporting economic mobility and helping to solidify a household’s social, political, and economic status.
  • The persistent over-representation of Black households’ wealth position at the bottom of the socioeconomic distribution is a function of cumulative, intergenerational conditions.


Employment, Employment General, Housing, Housing General, Inequality & Mobility, Intergenerational Poverty, Poverty Measurement, Poverty Measurement General, Racial/Ethnic Inequality, Wealth


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