The Large and Growing Racial Gap in Home Ownership

There continues to be a large racial gap in home ownership rates in the United States. According to recently released data from the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2017, 72.3 percent of non-Hispanic White Americans owned their home. For African Americans, only 42.3 percent owned their home. Thus, there is a huge 30 percentage point gap in home ownership rates.

Furthermore, the gap in home ownership rates has been expanding in recent years. Black home ownership peaked in 2004 at 49.1 percent. But since that time, undoubtedly due to the 2008 recession and slow economic recovery, African American home ownership rates have declined. Home ownership rates for non-Hispanic Whites have also declined slightly but the racial gap has expanded. The Black home ownership rate in 2017 was identical to the rate in 1994.

Why are these statistics relevant to higher education? The simple fact is that many American families use the equity in their home to finance the higher education of their children or grandchildren. Since this source of wealth is less available to Black families, this places African Americans at a disadvantage in financing higher education.

Related Articles

3 COMMENTS

  1. Oh, so what, most blacks just go to college and rack up a lot of student loans they can’t pay back partly because they never graduate any way. Not being able to afford college isn’t newsworthy when being black with a college degree doesn’t net you a secure job any more.

    • A college degree doesn’t always net a secure job, but, it does net someone a better education to use the rest of their life. In the long term this may be better than not having more education in the “short” term. We must keep striving to survive. It is NOT just about a “job”.

  2. There’s probably an urbanization effect here too. Minorities tend to be concentrated in cities for work and homeownership isn’t really feasible in big cities due to the high cost of living and rent.

    Just an observation

Leave a Reply

Get the JBHE Weekly Bulletin

Receive our weekly email newsletter delivered to your inbox

Latest News

Black Film Project and Film Studies Fellowships Established at Harvard University

Henry Louis Gates Jr., professor and director of the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University, will direct the newly established Black Film Project, an initiative aiming to support independent films focusing on Black history and culture.

Higher Education Grants or Gifts of Interest to African Americans

Here is this week’s news of grants or gifts to historically Black colleges and universities or for programs of particular interest to African Americans in higher education.

Yale Library Acquires Digital Collection of Langston Hughes Papers

In a recent December upload, the Yale University Library added a collection of papers from Black poet Langston Hughes to the school's online archive. The collection contains correspondence between Hughes and other authors and civil rights activists of his time.

Academic Fields Where Blacks Earned Few or No Doctoral Degrees in 2022

In 2022, African Americans earned 1.2 percent of all mathematics and statistics doctorates, 1.2 percent of all doctorates in computer science, 1.7 percent of all doctorates in chemistry, and only 1.7 percent of all doctorates awarded in engineering disciplines.

Featured Jobs