Blacks comprise 13.6 percent of the U.S. population according to the 2010 Census, but account for only 1.4 percent of the top 1 percent of households by income. Whites are the overwhelming majority of the top 1 percent of households by income, comprising 96.2 percent. (Results were calculated from 2007 data from the Federal Reserve’s Survey of Consumer Finances and the Tax Policy Center’s tax table, The income cutoff to be a part of the top 1 percent was $646,195.)
Samuel Myers, the Roy Wilkins Professor of Human Relations and Social Justice at the Humphreys School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota says it’s no surprise blacks share of the top 1 percent is low.
…black women are earning more college degrees their male counterparts, but have not been able to capitalize on that advantage when it comes to building wealth.
According to the U.S. Department of Education, black women earned 66 percent of bachelors degrees conferred to African-Americans, versus 34 percent for black men in the 2008-2009 academic year.
“Women are not on the ‘wealth escalator,’” says Mariko Chang, author of Shortchanged: Why Women Have Less Wealth & What Can Be Done About It. “These are things that help people convert their wealth more quickly.”