Racism has cost the US economy $16 trillion in the last 20 years

  • Centuries of discrimination have created a cavernous wealth gap between Black and white Americans. 
  • Today, Black Americans own an estimated one-tenth the wealth of white Americans — $17,150 for Black families compared to $171,000 for white families.
  • This gap is not only bad for Black people, it’s bad for the US economy, too.
  • Researchers estimate that the racial wealth gap has cost the US economy $16 trillion since 2000. If the gap closed today, the GDP would see a $5 trillion boost in the next five years.
  • Read more stories from Business Insider’s “Inside the racial wealth gap” series »

Since the start of slavery, racism has cost Black Americans an estimated $70 trillion. Today, thanks to centuries of discrimination, the racial wealth gap between Black and white Americans is cavernous.

In 2016, the Brookings Institution estimated that Black Americans own about one-tenth the wealth of white Americans — $17,150

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