The Ritz Herald
Credit card logos are posted to the door of a business in Atlanta. © David Goldman

Snapshots of Black and White Disparities in Income, Wealth, Savings and More

Black Americans are more than twice as likely to be denied credit

Published on August 11, 2020

LendingTree®, the nation’s leading online loan marketplace, released its study highlighting the financial disparities between Black and White Americans. The analysis finds that there is large economic inequality across income, wealth, savings, and credit opportunities.

Key findings:

  • The average income for Black men is 33.7% lower than that of white men in America’s 50 largest metros. The average income for Black women is 17.5% lower than that of white women.
  • Black and white income gaps persist across different sectors. In finance and insurance — which includes occupations in banking, investing and insurance-related activities — Black people earn an average income 36.9% lower than that of white people. And in educational services — made up of teachers and professors at all education institutions — Black people earn 8.4% less on average.
  • Across all income levels, Black adults are more than twice as likely to be denied credit (44%) or denied or approved for less than requested (57%) than their white counterparts at 19% and 24%, respectively.
  • The average cumulative student loan debt borrowed by Black undergraduate students who graduated is $36,919, 20% more than the $30,731 borrowed by white undergraduates.
  • The median net worth for Black people grew by 29% from 2013 to 2016 — the most recent three-year period for which data is available — despite falling substantially in the 2007-to-2010 and 2010-to-2013 periods. The median net worth for white people rose 17% in the 2013-to-2016 period.

Tendayi Kapfidze, Chief Economist at LendingTree, adds, “It’s encouraging that Americans are having these conversations more openly and with more vigor and purpose. Highlighting these racial disparities shows that systemic issues have held back generations of our fellow citizens. It is ultimately to the detriment of everyone as the economy is deprived of our best efforts by denying opportunities to many capable people. The creation of these disparities was and is often government-sanctioned and enforced, and so they should be addressed via legislative remedies in addition to societal change.”

Finance Reporter