White High School Dropouts Have More Wealth Than Black and Hispanic College Graduates

The Federal Reserve recently released the 2013 Survey of Consumer Finances. Earlier I calculated overall racial wealth inequality and wealth inequality within age groups. In this post, I calculate racial wealth levels for each educational attainment group.

Here is median wealth by race and education (note: a family's education level is defined by the education level of its head of household):


As you can see, white families are much wealthier than black and Hispanic families at every education level. More than that, all white families, even those at the lowest education level, have a higher median wealth than all black and Hispanic families, even those at the highest education level. The median white family with an education level below high school has a net worth of $51.3k, while the median black and Hispanic family with a college degree has a net worth of $25.9k and $41k respectively.

Here is the same graph as above, but this time using mean instead of median:


As you can see, the same basic trend holds. At the mean, white families with less than a high school education have $161.5k of wealth, which is higher than every black and Hispanic family, except those with college degrees. Black families with college degrees have a mean wealth of $162.8k, which is effectively the same as the mean wealth of white families with less than a high school education. Hispanic families with such education have a mean wealth of $289.8k.

For data like this, the median figures (graph one) are generally considered to be more illuminating.

This post first appeared on Demos. Follow Demos on Twitter: www.twitter.com/Demos_Org