Virtually nowhere in the United States do black boys grow up to earn incomes equivalent to white boys raised in the same neighborhoods by parents with comparable wealth and education levels, according to a study released Monday that followed millions of children now in their late 30s or turning 40.
The disparity holds true even for black boys raised in the wealthiest of families, who grew up on the same block in the same affluent community and attended the same school as their white counterparts. The findings shows that race — not just parental income or neighborhood opportunities — factors into the yawning wealth gap between blacks and whites in America.
In addition to income, black boys were more likely to be incarcerated and less likely to attend college than their white counterparts from families of similar income level.
“Race matters,” said Nathaniel Hendren, a Harvard economist who co-authored the paper with Raj Chetty at Stanford and two researchers with the U.S. Census Bureau. “Parent income and neighborhoods cannot explain the entirety of the black-white gap. Even when your parents get rich, the gaps don’t go away.”
The New York Times covers the study with some outstanding animations and graphics.