Reflected in median income; an individual’s effective income; income inequality in the community we serve; job readiness; access to, and representation in high-growth sectors of the economy; and physical access to jobs, including transportation.

As a nation, we seem to have made no progress in racial equity – with regard to income, wealth, and higher education – since 1967.

In 2015 — the most recent year for which data are available — black households at the 20th and 40th percentiles of household income earned an average of 55 percent as much as white households at those same percentiles. This is exactly the same figure as in 1967.

For every $100 in white family wealth, black families hold just $5.04.

Education? “Blacks and Hispanics Are More Underrepresented at Top Colleges Than 35 Years Ago.”*

* New York Times citations during 2017 of various U.S. Census and Non-profit institution research data

Detroit is no better – since 1979, we have made almost no progress on racial equity, especially when measured in terms of employment and income

The most recent equity report showed:

  • Since 1979, income inequality has increased in Detroit, which is now in the most unequal 1/3 of U.S. cities
  • During that time, wages have decreased between 18% and 39% for all Detroit workers, which is between 28% and 35% worse than the national average. In Detroit, the decline in wages for people of color was more than 50% greater than for whites.

Looking at the economic impact alone of these facts, the amount of lost GDP in Detroit this gap represents is 13% of total Detroit GDP, or $29.4 billion that is not available to people and families of color, and is not available as spending and investment to businesses in our city.*

* “An Equity Profile of the City of Detroit”; Policy Link and PERE for the Kellogg Foundation, 2017

Racial Gaps in Household Income Persist

Metropolitan Detroit Per Capita Income by Race/Ethnicity