the median net worth of black bostonians is $8 (not a typo)

December 18, 2017
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Does Boston deserve its racist reputation?

That’s the question behind a new seven-part series called Spotlight by the Boston Globe, which explores the cities contentious history with Black people. According to one powerful measure, the answer seems to be quite clearly yes, as whites have a net worth of more than 34,312 times that of African Americans in the city. Mind boggling.

This data is pulled from “The Color of Wealth in Boston” report, a five-city study looking at wealth disparities among communities of color conducted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, Duke University, and the New School. The report found the median net worth for non-immigrant African-American households in the Greater Boston region is $8, (the lowest of all five cities); $12,000 for Caribbean Blacks; $3,020 for Puerto Ricans; and $0 for Dominicans.

Net worth, the report said, is determined by “subtracting debts from assets.”

And while this is a great retort point for holier-than-thou Bostonians who remain content with finger-wagging at places like Alabama, it’s not too much worse than the country at large. In 2016, white families had a median net worth of $171,000, compared with just $17,600 for Black people, and it’s not getting any better.

So much for equality!


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