The black-white economic divide in 5 charts

Race & Reality in America
Race & Reality in America

Blacks and Hispanics may be more optimistic than whites about their financial future, but their financial present is typically much bleaker.

A new CNN/Kaiser Family Foundation poll found that 55% of blacks and 52% of Hispanics said it was easier for them to achieve the American Dream than their parents. That's compared to only 35% of whites. Blacks and Hispanics interviewed by CNNMoney said they feel they have more opportunity these days in terms of education and jobs.

But for the typical black and Hispanic household, those opportunities haven't translated into financial gains. Even earning a college degree hasn't protected them from falling behind. In fact, the CNN/Kaiser poll found that blacks and Hispanics with college degrees are not significantly more satisfied with their financial situation compared to their peers without degrees. But whites with college degrees are generally more satisfied than their counterparts with less formal education.

Here are five ways blacks and Hispanics trail whites economically.

race reality chart median household income

Blacks and Hispanics still typically earn far less than whites, in part because whites dominate higher-paying fields, such as technology and finance. The income gap has held fairly steady for the past 40 years.

race reality chart median household wealth

When it comes to wealth, the difference is staggering. Whites have roughly 10 times the wealth of blacks and Hispanics.

Over the past 25 years, the wealth gap between blacks and whites has nearly tripled, according to research by Brandeis University.

race reality chart home ownership

That's mainly due to differences in home ownership rates. Most Americans' net worth is tied up in their homes, but blacks and Hispanics are much less likely to own the roof over their heads.

race reality chart unemployment

Unemployment in the black and Hispanic communities is also a big issue. The jobless rate has historically been much higher for blacks and Hispanics, which contributes to their having lower income and wealth levels.

Once unemployed, it takes blacks five weeks longer to land a job than whites, on average. (Hispanics, on the other hand, find new positions two weeks sooner than whites.)

race reality chart poverty rate

All these factors contribute to higher poverty rates among blacks and Hispanics. More than one in four black Americans are in poverty, and nearly that many Hispanics are.

The numbers are even starker when looking at child poverty rates. Just under 11% of white children were in poverty in 2013, but 38% of black children and 30% of Hispanic children are poor.

The CNN/Kaiser Family Foundation poll was conducted August 25 through October 3, 2015, among a random national sample of 1,951 adults, including 501 Black and 500 Hispanic respondents. Results for all groups have been adjusted to reflect their actual national distribution. Interviews were conducted on conventional telephones and cellphones, in English and Spanish, by SSRS of Media, Pennsylvania. This poll was jointly developed and analyzed by CNN and staff at the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF). Results for the full sample have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points; for results based on African Americans or Hispanics it is plus or minus 6 percentage points. Read more about the poll.

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