Research Finds an Expanding Wealth Gap at Higher Levels of Education

A new study by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis finds that education, particularly higher education, has a significant impact on levels of family wealth. However, higher education does not pay off as much for African Americans as it does for White Americans in terms of family wealth.

The data shows that Black families with a head that has a college of education holds only 79 percent of the wealth of White families with a head who has a college degree. Black families with a head who has a graduate degree have average wealth that is only 85 percent of White families with a head who has only a bachelor’s degree.

The data also shows that although education has a positive impact on family wealth, the wealth gap between Black and White families expands at higher levels of education.

The study, “Unequal Degrees of Affluence: Racial and Ethnic Wealth Differences Across Education Levels,” may be downloaded by clicking here.

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