15 Data Charts That Prove We’re Far From Post-Racial

This report from the Huffington Post Black Voices by  and , puts together a series of data graphs that paint an interesting picture of wealth, race, income and opportunities. 

15 Charts That Prove We’re Far From Post-Racial

Posted: Updated: 

Print Article


On July 2, 1964, the Civil Rights Act was signed into law, officially banning discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. It also ended racial segregation in schools, at the workplace and in general public facilities.

Fifty years removed from that milestone, it’s apparently easy to think that we’re over racism.

Here are 15 facts that prove that’s not the case.

1) Affluent blacks and Hispanics still live in poorer neighborhoods than whites with working class incomes.

An analysis of census data conducted by researchers at Brown University found that income isn’t the main driving factor in the segregation of U.S. cities. “With only one exception (the most affluent Asians), minorities at every income level live in poorer neighborhoods than do whites with comparable incomes,” the researchers found.

“We cannot escape the conclusion that more is at work here than simple market processes that place people according to their means,” their report stated. Along with residential segregation, the study notes, comes access to fewer resources for those in minority neighborhoods.

2) There’s a big disparity in wealth between white Americans and non-white Americans.

White Americans held more than 88 percent of the country’s wealth in 2010, according to a Demos analysis of Federal Reserve data, though they made up 64 percent of the population. Black Americans held 2.7 percent of the country’s wealth, though they made up 13 percent of the population.

Much has been written explaining that the racial wealth gap didn’t come about by accident. Among other factorsFHA redliningrestrictive covenants, andexploitative contract selling practices that capitalized on black families’ inability to get conventional mortgages all prevented African-Americans from generating wealth through home ownership for much of the 20th century.

3) The racial wealth gap kept widening well after the Civil Rights era.

It nearly tripled between 1984 and 2009, according to a Brandeis study.

4) The Great Recession didn’t hit everyone equally.

Between 2007 and 2010, Hispanic families’ wealth fell by 44 percent, and black families’ by 31 percent, compared to 11 percent for white families.

5) In the years before the financial crisis, people of color were much more likely to be targeted for subprime loans than their white counterparts, even when they had similar credit scores.

The Center For Responsible Lending came to that conclusion after analyzing government-provided mortgage data for the year 2004, supplemented with information from a propriety subprime loan database.

“For many types of loans, borrowers of color in our database were more than 30 percent more likely to receive a higher-rate loan than white borrowers, even after accounting for differences in risk,” the authors of the report wrote.

This wasn’t a new phenomenon. HUD data from 1998 also showed that predominantly black neighborhoods at every income level had a much greater share of subprime refinance mortgages than predominantly white neighborhoods.

6) Minority borrowers are still more likely to get turned down for conventional mortgage loans than white people with similar credit scores.

An Urban Insititute data analysis found that mortgage denial rates from government-sponsored servicers are higher for black applicants with bad credit than for white applicants with bad credit:

chart 6

7) Black and Latino students are more likely to attend poorly funded schools.

“A 10 percentage-point increase in the share of nonwhite students in a school is associated with a $75 decrease in per student spending,” a 2012 analysis of Department Education data by the Center For American Progress found.

8) School segregation is still widespread.

80 percent of Latino students attend segregated schools and 43 percent attend intensely segregated schools — ones with only up to 10 percent of white students. 74 percent of black students attend segregated schools, and 38 percent attend intensely segregated schools.

9) As early as preschool, black students are punished more frequently, and more harshly, for misbehaving than their white counterparts.

“Black children represent 18 percent of preschool enrollment, but 42 percent of the preschool children suspended once, and 48 percent of the preschool children suspended more than once,” a Department of Education report, released in March, noted.

10) Perceptions of the innocence of children are still often racially skewed.

A study published this year in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that participants estimated black boys to be older and less innocent than white boys of the same age.

When participants were told that the boys, both black and white, were suspected of crimes, the disparity in perceptions of age and innocence became more stark:

chart 10

Separate research by Stanford psychologists suggests that these kinds of racialized perceptions of innocence contribute to non-white juvenile offenders receiving harsher sentences than their white peers.

11) White Americans use drugs more than black Americans, but black people are arrested for drug possession more than three times as often as whites.

This contributes to the fact that 1 in 3 black males born today can expect to go to prison in their lifetimes, based on current incarceration trends.

12) Black men receive prison sentences 19.5 percent longer than those of white men who committed similar crimes, a 2013 report by the U.S. Sentencing Commission found.

13) A clean record doesn’t protect young black men from discrimination when they’re looking for work.

Young white men with felony convictions are more likely to get called back after a job interview than young black men with similar qualifications and clean records,a 2003 study published in the American Journal of Sociology found.

chart 13

14) Black job seekers are often turned away by U.S. companies on the assumption that they do drugs.

The presence of drug testing may actually help to correct this and increase black job seekers’ chances, according to a National Bureau of Economic Research study released in May.

pro testing

15) Employers are more likely to turn away job seekers if they have African-American-sounding names.

Applicants with white-sounding names get one callback per 10 resumes sent while those with African-American-sounding names get one callback per 15 resumes, according to a 2003 National Bureau of Economic Research report. “Based on our estimates,” the researchers wrote, “a White name yields as many more callbacks as an additional eight years of experience.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.